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Outline for a High School Chemistry Class

Need to complete a high school chemistry class with a wet lab? We did and that is how this blog was born. To help you get started, we have put together an overview of a high school chemistry course with links to posts about the lessons and labs.

I. Getting a High School chemistry lab kit.

We chose the The Home Scientist for our hands-on chemistry lab kit.

Of those offered, we used the CK01A Standard/Honors Home School Chemistry Laboratory Kit

The kit comes with most of the equipment and chemicals you need for a high school chemistry wet lab that you can do at home. It also comes with a free .pdf manual to download with complete, extensive lab instructions. (Link on this page). You will have to supply some materials, which are common household items for the most part. You will also need a place to store the chemicals away from small children and pets.

II. Choosing a High School Chemistry Textbook:

The text we used was Introductory Chemistry (4th Edition) by Nivaldo J. Tro. The book the textbook reading assignments in the lessons refer to that text. We chose this text over the Essentials version because it has three additional chapters at the end which could be used as reference material. We used chapters 1-16.

As typical with the textbook industry, there is now a newer edition.

Introductory Chemistry (5th Edition) by Nivaldo J. Tro

We liked the tone of the text and the great illustrations.

Another text that is commonly used in high school chemistry classrooms is:

Chemistry by Steven S. Zumdahl and Susan A. Zumdahl

Want more information? Don’t forget to check the links in the Online Chemistry Textbooks page and our Choosing a Chemistry Textbook post from the beginning of the class, which has more options.

III. High School Chemistry Class Outline

The following are links to the blog posts we used for the class. I split some of the chapters in the Tro text, so we ended up meeting for 22 weeks.

I have left out the sidebars, which were posts about some more information on questions the students found interesting.

Keeping a Chemistry Laboratory Notebook

Lesson 1: Introduction to Chemistry

Lab 1 Density of Liquids: Soft Drinks and Water

Lesson 2: Measurement and Problem Solving

Lab 2 Density of Solids and Measurement Challenge

Lesson 3: Matter

Lab 3: Separation of Mixtures

Lesson 4: Energy

Lab 4: Heat Capacity

Lesson 5: Atoms and Elements

Lab 5: Chemistry Unleashed

Lesson 6: Molecules and Compounds

Lab 6: What we did

Lesson 7: Calculating Chemical Composition

Lab 7: Finding Moles and Molecules

Lesson 8: Chemical Reactions Part 1

Lab 8: From Topic I, Recrystallization and Salting Out

Sidebar: Lab 8 Update

Lesson 9: Classifying Chemical Reactions

Lab 9: Topic III, Classifying Chemical Reactions

Lesson 10: Quantities in Chemical Reactions

Lab 10: Double Displacement Reactions

Lesson 11: The Electromagnetic Spectrum

Lab 11: Photochemistry

Lesson 12: Electrons, Atom Models, and the Periodic Table

(Note: For the lab, we did models of atom orbitals using Model Magic modeling clay. Let me know in the comments if you would like details.)

Lesson 13: Chemical Bonding

Lab 13: Conductance of Ionic and Molecular Solutes

Lesson 14: Gases

Lab 14: Gas Properties and Laws

Lesson 15: Properties of Liquids and Solids

Lab 15: Viscosity and Other Physical Properties of Liquids

Lesson 16: Solutions

Lab 16: Solubility and Solutions

Lesson 17: Acids and Bases

Lab 17: Investigating pH
Lesson 18: Rates of Chemical Reactions

Lab 18: Chemical Kinetics

Lesson 19: More About Rates of Chemical Reactions

Lab 19: Effect of Catalysts on Reactions

Lesson 20: Oxidation and Reduction

Lab 20: Sweet Redox Reactions for National Chemistry Week

Lab 21: Electrochemistry

For Lab 22, we had a review with activities and tasks from throughout the course.


If you would like to know more about any of the materials or coursework, please feel free to leave questions in the comments.