Middle School Chemistry: Chemical Reactions

When we hear the term, chemical reaction, we usually visualize something exploding, don’t we? But not all reactions are that noticeable. We’re actually surrounded by chemical reactions every day without thinking about it. Reactions like rust, a match lighting, yeast in bread, or silver tarnishing.

Middle School Chemistry: Chemical Reactions @ Education Possible  When we hear the term, chemical reaction, we usually think of something exploding, don't we? But not all reactions are that noticeable. We're actually surrounded by chemical reactions every day, like rust, a match lighting, yeast in bread, and silver tarnishing.   This is an extremely popular experiment, that seems quite simple, but when you add in some scientific questions, it makes it perfect for a middle school science lesson.This post contains affiliate links.

What is a Chemical Reaction?

It is when a chemical change occurs. The substances you start with react together and form something different. The reactants create a product. Bonds keeping atoms together are either broken or formed to create new molecules.

How do you know a chemical change has occurred? Look out for:

  • vaporization (production of gas)
  • precipitation (creation of a solid)
  • change in color
  • change in temperature
  • change in properties

In our science co-op, we learned about four types of reactions.

  • Synthesis
    • This is the simplest type of chemical reaction. Two or more reactants are combined to create a more complex product.
    • A + B → AB
  • Decomposition
    • This is when a compound is broken down into its separate parts.
    • AB → A + B
  • Single replacement
    • This occurs when an element’s place in a compound is taken by another element.
    • A + BC → AC + B
  • Double replacement
    • In a double replacement, the ions in compounds are switched, creating a new compound.
    • AB + CD → AD + CB

We’ve been using Amazing Kitchen Chemistry Projects You Can Build Yourself for activities this year and love it!

A Chemical Reaction Middle Schoolers Will Love

This is an extremely popular experiment, that seems quite simple, but when you add in scientific questions, it makes it perfect for a middle school science lesson.

You’ll need:

  • a balloon
  • plastic bottle
  • vinegar
  • baking soda

Questions to answer before you begin:

  • How can you use these materials to create a reaction?
  • What do you think will happen?

Inflating a Balloon with a Chemical Reaction

Questions to answer during and after the experiment:

  • What type of change took place?
  • How long did it take for the reaction to occur?
  • What happened?
  • How long did the reaction continue?
  • What forms of matter did you observe during the experiment?
  • Why do baking soda and vinegar react when combined?
  • What is the chemical equation for this reaction?

Additional Experiments to Try

Groovy Science Activity – Make Your Own Lava Lamp from us at Education Possible

50 Ways to Play with Baking Soda and Vinegar from Growing a Jeweled Rose

Kitchen Chemistry: Cake Experiment from Teach Beside Me

Watch Some Amazing Reactions

The 27 Most Impressive Chemical Reactions from Buzz Feed

What experiments have you completed to study chemical reactions?

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Megan Zechman
I love homeschooling! Learning is a way of life for our family. Most days you will find us exploring our Central Florida community, having fun while learning. I am constantly looking for new and interactive ways to engage my children. Pinterest is one of my favorite tools for finding fun, hands-on learning activities. Connect with me @Pinterest.
Megan Zechman
Megan Zechman

Comments

  1. I LOVE this!!! I really like how you summarized the 4 types of reactions. We are covering chemistry come Jan and look forward to trying many of these ourselves.

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