01 Acids and alkalis 1 11-14 Working in groupsSelf assessmentPeer assessmentSharing objectives and criteriaQuestioningUsing feedbackUsing tests

Key words that students have met during their work on acids and alkalis are linked together by appropriate phrases on a concept map. The map is used as a prop to help students structure their discussion about acids and alkalis. A number of variations of the concept map are included so that teachers can choose the approach they feel is appropriate.

Learning objectives

Students will be able to:

  1. make connections between key ideas to do with acids and alkalis
  2. explain how these key ideas are connected.

Sequence of activities

Show a beaker half full of dilute hydrochloric acid labelled ‘STOMACH ACID’. Add Universal indicator to the acid solution. Add an antacid tablet to the solution in the beaker so that the colour of the indicator changes. Ask students to suggest words they might need to use to explain what has happened in the beaker and compile a list on the board or OHP. Describe the learning objectives for the session.
Arrange the students in pairs. Give one copy of Concept map 1 to each pair. Give one copy of Linking phrases sheet 1 to each student. Explain that the task is to link together the words on the concept map.

Circulate and support with prompts while students:

  • work in pairs
  • decide on (or select) the correct phrase to link the boxes
  • complete the table on the Linking phrases sheet
  • put in two more boxes of their own and devise the phrases to add to their table.
Ask each pair of students to join with another pair to form a group of four.

Circulate and support with prompts while students:

  • work as a group
  • compare their initial phrases and discuss any differences
  • fill in the column on the right of the Linking phrases sheet to indicate how well they think they understand the links (using a key such as 3, 2, or 1 star(s) or other symbols for Understand, Not sure or Don’t understand)
  • select a spokesperson.
In a plenary, ask:
  • each spokesperson to describe the phrases the group has used to connect key words
  • other groups to comment on the phrases or to suggest alternatives to link these words
  • each spokesperson to identify those links which were difficult.

Allow time for students to review their work in the light of the whole-class discussion.

Provide each student with a copy of Concept map 3.

Circulate and support with prompts while students:

  • work individually
  • identify which links they found most difficult and how they are going to work on these points
  • write this assessment on the back of their Linking phrases sheet
  • hand in the sheet.
Give feedback to each individual. Acknowledge achievement and write comments that will lead the student towards their next steps.

A note on this resource

  • Concept map 1 has arrows already inserted between key words; students write in appropriate linking phrases on Linking phrases sheet 1.
  • For a more demanding task, use Concept map 2 and Linking phrases sheet 2.
  • For a less demanding task, photocopy Concept map 1 to A3 size and photocopy and cut out the individual cards on the Connecting phrase cards sheet. Students can use these on their concept map before completing the table on Linking phrases sheet 1.

Assessment for Learning commentary

The initial demonstration vividly illustrates the key ideas. During the group work, the students can articulate their ideas about acids and alkalis and are then more likely to identify what they are less confident about. The teacher gains a clear picture, in the plenary, of which ideas the whole class finds most demanding. Providing a completed concept map will help students to recognise the standards they are aiming for.

Resources

Props

Download Word Download PDF Concept map 1 for each pair
Download Word Download PDF Linking phrases sheet 1 for each student
Download Word Download PDF Concept map 3 for each student

or

Download Word Download PDF Concept map 2 for each pair
Download Word Download PDF Linking phrases sheet 2 for each student
Download Word Download PDF Concept map 3 for each student

or

Download Word Download PDF Concept map 1 photocopied at A3 size for each pair
Download Word Download PDF Connecting phrase cards sheet cut into cards for each pair
Download Word Download PDF Linking phrases sheet 1 for each student
Download Word Download PDF Concept map 3 for each student

Acknowledgement

K. Taber, Chemical misconceptions – prevention, diagnosis and cure, Volume 2: Classroom resources, Revising Acids. London: Royal Society of Chemistry, 2002.