Chemistry Unit 8: Equations - Law of Conservation of Matter


  • Apply previous skills in writing correct formulas for chemical formulas in writing equations for chemical reactions.
  • Explain how chemical reactions result from the making and breaking of bonds in a process that absorbs of releases energy.
  • Explain that different factors can affect the rate of a chemical reaction.
  • Use scientific inquiry, evidence, critical thinking, connections, and communication to facilitate and document learning.

Course Essential Questions

  • How do the components in a system interact in dynamic ways to result in change?
  • How is matter transferred within this system?
  • How does energy flow (transfers and transformations) within this system?

Unit Essential Questions

  • Why is it important to represent elements and compounds accurately when writing chemical formulas?
  • What does it mean to conserve matter/mass?
  • How can the conservation of matter/mass in a chemical reaction be most effectively communicated?
  • What patterns can be found in chemical reactions? How can these patterns be classified and used to predict reactions?


  1. Chemical formulas and equations are symbolic and accurate descriptions of observations of natural phenomena.
  2. Matter is not destroyed or created during chemical reactions, only rearranged in a different way to make a new substance.
  3. The behavior of atoms of all elements when reacting with other elements occurs in generalized patterns.

Students will know....

  • Terms:
    • activation energy, combustion, dilution, enzyme
  • Characteristics of 5 basic types of chemical reactions
  • How to use observations of patterns in basic reactions to predict products of basic forms of 5 types of reactions.

Students will be able to....

  • Define activation energy, combustion, dilution, enzyme
  • Explain the meaning of the Law of Conservation of Mass and apply it when describing a chemical reaction.
  • Write balanced formula and word equations to describe chemical reactions.
  • Identify and distinguish between 5 types of chemical reactions:
    • Synthesis
    • Decomposition
    • Single Replacement
    • Double Replacement
    • Combustion
    • Oxidation Reduction
  • Carry out a series of reactions to construct an activity series for a given set of metals
  • Predict the products of each reaction type, given reactants.
  • Use a solubility rules and an activity series in predicting products.

Links and Resources

Daily Learning Activities
Day 1 Law of Conservation of Matter demos; how to communicate via symbols in formulas and equations. Balancing equations; complete Equation Assignment #1.
Day 2 Review Equation Assignment #1 and Equation Assignment 2.
Day 3 Review additions to Equation Assignment 1 & 2; card sort, and POGIL group activity. Equation Assignment 3.
Day 3

Types of Chemical Reactions: demos, introduction to reaction types (short lecture),  Review Equation Assignment #s 1-3. Synthesis and Decomposition Reactions - lecture/demo, practice predicting products. Equation Assignment #4; catch up on Assignments 1-3. 

Day 4 Review Equation Assignment #s 1-4. Single and Double Replacement Reactions - lecture/demo, practice. Equation Assignment #5; catch up on Assignments 1-4. Begin Equation Assignment #6.
Day 5 Introduction to Types of Reactions Inquiry Lab. Begin selecting reactions to carry out in lab. Lab book prep.
Day 6 Lab planning; submit list of materials needed.
Day 7 Lab: reactions. Data collection and verification.
Day 8 Lab due; proficiency.

Learning Targets:

Oregon State Standards:
H.3S.4 Identify examples from the history of science that illustrate modification of scientific knowledge in light of challenges to prevailing explanations.
H.1P.1 Explain how atomic structure is related to the properties of elements and their position in the Periodic Table. Explain how the composition of the nucleus is related to isotopes and radioactivity.

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