Chemical Reaction Equations


Summary:

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.

Presentation1

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.

Resources:
October 20 – Chemical Reaction Equations (pg210).docx

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