Chemical Reaction Equations


Today I began by showing students the “Electrolysis of Water,” where electricity is used to rip water molecules apart. I showed them this experiment to illustrate how an equation can be used to describe a chemical reaction.

reaction equations

It’s almost like learning a new language, I told them. The chemical formulas in the equation tell you what to draw and the coefficients tell you how many to draw. The equation above can be translated into a picture, as shown below.


Believe it or not, all three of these examples (the experiment, the equation, and the picture) showed students the same thing: when you electrocute water molecules, they divide into hydrogen gas (H2) and oxygen gas (O2). After this discussion, students practiced translating the equations into pictures using the worksheet below.

October 20 – Chemical Reaction Equations (pg210).docx

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