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Compounds and Mixtures

Teacher Guide by Oliver Smith

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Elements, Compounds, and Mixtures Lesson Plans

Student Activities for Compounds and Mixtures Include:

Everything around us is made of atoms. The clothes we wear, the air we breathe and the water we drink are all made of them. There are roughly 92 naturally occurring elements on Earth and all terrestrial matter is made from a combination of these. Combinations might be in the form of elements, compounds, or mixtures.

Compounds and Mixtures Lesson Plans, Student Activities and Graphic Organizers

Elements, Compounds, and Mixtures


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In this activity students will describe the differences between elements, compounds, and mixtures.

Students can create a model to represent an element, a compound, and a mixture using shapes. Students can then add examples of each of the different types of substance, representing them with an image from Photos for Class.


Element

An element is a substance made of one type of atom.

Example 1: Gold Ring

Example 2: Oxygen Gas


Compound

A compound has two or more types of atoms chemically bonded together.

Example 1: Water

Example 2: Rust / Iron Oxide


Mixture

A mixture is a substance made of two or more elements or compounds not chemically bonded together.

Example 1: Air

Example 2: Sea Water


(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Copy Assignment", change the description of the assignment in your Dashboard.)


Student Instructions

Compare the different makeups of elements, compounds, and mixtures in a storyboard by creating a particle diagram. Find two examples of each.


  1. Click "Use this Template" from the assignment.
  2. Label the first column as Particle Diagram, the second as Example 1, and the third as Example 2.
  3. Label the rows as Element, Compound and Mixture.
  4. Use shapes to create a particle diagram for each substance type in the first column.
  5. Write a description of each underneath.
  6. Find examples for each substance type and write the names in the description boxes under the cells for the Example 1 and Example 2 columns.
  7. Use the search bar to use Photos for Class to find images of the examples.
  8. Save and submit the assignment. Make sure to use the drop-down menu to save it under the assignment title.


(Modify this basic rubric by clicking the link below. You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)





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Vocabulary for Elements, Compounds, and Mixtures


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Have your students put key vocabulary into practice. One of the things students can find really difficult is using scientific vocabulary correctly and in the appropriate context. Using a visual representation or visual examples as well as a written one can really help students understand abstract concepts.


Example Elements, Compounds and Mixtures Vocabulary


Solution

A solution is a mixture where one substance (the solute) is dissolved in another (solvent).


Bond

A strong, lasting attraction between atoms is called a bond.


Atom

An atom is the smallest particle that makes up an element. It has a positively charged nucleus made of protons and neutrons surrounded by negatively charged electrons.


Molecule

A molecule is the smallest unit of a compound where two or more atoms are chemically bonded together.


Insoluble

If a substance is insoluble, it cannot be dissolved.


Other terms include:

  • Arrangement
  • Boil
  • Cells
  • Changes
  • Chromatography
  • Classify
  • Compound
  • Concentrated
  • Concentration
  • Condense
  • Conserved
  • Container
  • Corrosive
  • Crystals
  • Cylinder
  • Diffusion
  • Dissolve
  • Distillation
  • Dyes
  • Evaporate
  • Extraction
  • Filtration
  • Fixed
  • Freeze
  • Gases
  • Identity
  • Insoluble
  • Irreversible
  • Liquid
  • Metals
  • Mixture
  • Model
  • Particles
  • Periodic Table
  • Physical Change
  • Precautions
  • Properties
  • Residue
  • Reversible
  • Saturated
  • Separate
  • Simple Distillation
  • Solid
  • Soluble
  • Solute
  • Solution
  • Solvent
  • Substance
  • Suspension
  • Temperature
  • Unsaturated
  • Vapor

(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Copy Assignment", change the description of the assignment in your Dashboard.)


Student Instructions

Demonstrate your understanding of key scientific vocabulary by creating visualizations.

  1. Choose five vocabulary words and type them in the title boxes.
  2. Find the definition in a print or online dictionary and write it under the cell.
  3. Illustrate the meaning of the word in the cell using a combination of scenes, characters, and items.
    • Alternatively, use Photos for Class to give examples of the words.
  4. Save and submit your storyboard. Make sure to use the drop-down menu to save it under the assignment title.


(Modify this basic rubric by clicking the link below. You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)





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Elements, Compounds, and Mixtures Discussion Storyboard


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Discussion storyboards are a great way to get your students talking about their ideas in Science. They allow students to critique and evaluate different viewpoints without upsetting other students. This activity can be used at the start of the topic to elicit any misconceptions students may have.

At first, show students a discussion storyboard like the one below. Ask them to look at the problem on the discussion storyboard. It shows four students who all have an idea about the problem in front of them. Students should think about whom they think is the most correct and be prepared to explain why that person is correct.

Here are some other ideas to use these discussion storyboards in your lessons.

  1. Students add another cell on the end of the example you’ve given them to explain whom they think is correct and why.
  2. Students create their own discussion storyboards to share with peers on the current topic.

Note that the template in this assignment is blank. After clicking "Copy Assignment", add your desired problem and solutions to match the needs of your students.

(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Copy Assignment", change the description of the assignment in your Dashboard.)


Student Instructions

Read the discussion storyboard that shows four students who all have an idea about the problem in front of them. You are going to give your opinion on whom you think is correct and explain why.


  1. Click "Use this Template" from the assignment.
  2. Add another cell at the end of the row.
  3. Use text and images to explain whom you think is correct and why.
  4. Save and submit the assignment. Make sure to use the drop-down menu to save it under the assignment title.


(Modify this basic rubric by clicking the link below. You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)





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Examples of Elements, Compounds, and Mixtures


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Have your students identify examples of elements, compounds, and mixtures.

Elements are substances made of only one type of atom. Examples of elements are gold, helium and iron. Note that they are only considered elements if they are pure. A 24kt gold ring would said to be made of an element as all the atoms that make up the ring are gold atoms. A 12kt ring is made of a different types of atoms so it is said to be a mixture. Examples of elements are gold, helium, and carbon.

Compounds are substances made of two or more types of atoms chemically bonded together. These chemical bonds make compounds difficult to break up. Compounds are represented by a chemical formula. The chemical formula lets you know what type of atoms make the substance and what ratios those atoms are found in. For example, carbon dioxide has a chemical formula of CO2, this means the compound is made of carbon and oxygen atoms at a ratio of 1 carbon to 2 oxygen. Other examples of compounds include pure water (H2O), table salt (NaCl), and Methane (CH4).

Mixtures are substances that are made of two or more types of element or compound that are not chemically bonded together. They are more easily separated than compounds. Mixtures can be a solid, liquid or a gas. Examples of mixtures are sea water, air, and dirt. Unlike compounds which are formed with fixed ratios of elements, mixtures can be made up with varying ratios of elements or compounds.

Alternatively, give your student a list of examples and have them place the substance in the correct category.

(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Copy Assignment", change the description of the assignment in your Dashboard.)


Student Instructions

Identify examples of elements, compounds, and mixtures in a storyboard.


  1. Click "Use this Template" from the assignment.
  2. Label each column with Element, Compound, and Mixture.
  3. Label each row with Example 1, Example 2, and Example 3.
  4. Use the internet, books, or your own knowledge to find three examples of elements, compounds, and mixtures.
  5. Write these examples in the titles of the cells in the storyboard.
  6. Search for images of these examples and include them in the cell.
  7. Save and submit the assignment. Make sure to use the drop-down menu to save it under the assignment title.


(Modify this basic rubric by clicking the link below. You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)





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Separating Mixtures


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There are different methods of separating mixtures which utilize properties of the mixed substances, including filtering, evaporation, and distillation. In this activity, students will identify four methods of separating mixtures and indicate when the method should be used.


Separating Mixtures Example

FilteringFiltering can be used to separate insoluble solids from liquids.
EvaporationEvaporation can be used to separate soluble solids from a liquid.
DistillationDistillation can be used to separate a a liquid from a solution. It works because substances have different boiling points.
ChromatographyChromatography can be used to separate dissolved substances that have colors such as dyes. It works because some substances are more soluble than others.

(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Copy Assignment", change the description of the assignment in your Dashboard.)


Student Instructions

Demonstrate your knowledge of the different methods of separating mixtures by creating a spider map.


  1. Click "Use this Template" from the assignment.
  2. Think of four different methods of separating mixtures.
  3. Write a sentence describing each one and then illustrate the practical application using a combination of scenes, characters, and items. Alternatively, use Photos for Class to find an image to represent the separation method.
  4. Save and submit the assignment. Make sure to use the drop-down menu to save it under the assignment title.


(Modify this basic rubric by clicking the link below. You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)





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Matter: Elements, Compounds, and Mixtures

Just about everything on Earth is made from combinations of 92 different types of atoms. Matter can be uncombined substances made from one type of atom, known as elements, or combined as compounds or mixtures. An element is a substance that is made from one type of atom. The periodic table is a chart which organizes all the known elements. Elements have a wide range of different properties from hydrogen which is a colorless gas, to mercury which is a liquid metal at room temperature. Not all elements in the periodic table occur naturally on Earth. Some are created in a lab and only exist for fractions of a second.

A compound is a substance made of two or more types of atoms chemically bonded together to form molecules. There are billions and billions of different ways to combine the different elements to create compounds. Compounds have a definite composition which can be described using a chemical formula. For example, carbon dioxide has a chemical formula of CO2. This means that each molecule of carbon dioxide is made of one carbon and two oxygen atoms. Unlike mixtures, compounds have a fixed ratio of elements. The bonds in compounds can be difficult to break, and can only be broken through chemical reactions. After a chemical reaction, the molecules of the reactants rearrange to form other substances (products).


2 Na + Cl 2 → 2 NaCl


A mixture is a combination of substances that are not chemically bonded together. Mixtures can be any combination of elements and/or compounds. Examples of mixtures are sea water, air, powdered iron, powdered sulfur, and most rocks. Mixtures can be separated more easily than compounds. There are many different methods of separating mixtures, depending on the properties of the substances in the mixture, and whether it is a heterogeneous mixture or a homogeneous mixture like a solution. A solution is a type of mixture that involves a solid/liquid (solute) dissolved in a liquid (solvent). If a substance doesn’t dissolve into another it is known as insoluble. Unlike compounds, mixtures are not necessarily made of fixed ratios of the component parts.

Mixture Separation Methods

Filtering is a process which can separate liquids and insoluble solids, like water and sand. In this process the mixture is poured through a filter, such as filter paper or a strainer, and the insoluble sand gets filtered from the liquid. This happens because of a difference of the particle size; the liquid particles are small enough to pass through the filter paper while the solid particles are too big. The solid left behind is known as the residue and the liquid that passes through the paper is known as the filtrate. Straining works using the same mechanism as filtering, just for larger particles.

Evaporation is another method for separating soluble solids from a liquid. Table salt mixed with water is an example of a salt solution. In the evaporation process, the solution is heated so the water evaporates, leaving salt crystals in the bottom of the container. Water has a lower boiling point than salt, so the water evaporates first.

Distillation can separate mixtures of liquids that have different boiling points. It works in a similar way to evaporation, but the evaporated vapor is collected and condensed back into a liquid. This method works due to the difference of varying boiling points. This method could be used to separate water and ink. Distillation is used in making some alcoholic drinks like whisky and vodka.

Magnetism can also be employed to remove magnetic material from nonmagnetic material. An example of this is sorting iron from other metals at a recycling plant.

Chromatography is a method used to separate some dissolved substances. It is often used for separating dyes and inks. It separates dissolved chemicals like dyes and inks due to a difference in solubility. With simple paper chromatography a spot of the ink or dye is placed near the bottom of a piece of absorbent paper. The paper is then lowered in a container of solvent so the line of the liquid is underneath the ink spot. As the solvent moves up the paper it takes some of the colored chemical with it. The different chemicals are spread out by different amounts.


Essential Questions for Elements, Compounds, and Mixtures

  1. What are elements, compounds and mixtures?
  2. What is a homogeneous mixture? Heterogeneous mixture?
  3. How can we separate elements, compounds, and mixtures?
  4. What is a chemical bond?

Other Lesson Plan Ideas for Elements, Compounds, and Mixtures

  1. Students devise a way of cleaning dirty water so it is drinkable using a narrative storyboard.
  2. Students model the forming of compounds through chemical reactions using Storyboard That.
  3. Students create a timeline of how our understanding of elements, compounds, and mixtures have changed over time.

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