Polymers Lesson Plan

Instructor: Julie Zundel

Julie has taught high school Zoology, Biology, Physical Science and Chem Tech. She has a Bachelor of Science in Biology and a Master of Education.

Learning about complex molecules, like polymers, can feel overwhelming, but this lesson plan on natural and synthetic polymers can help teachers illustrate these topics. By using hands-on activities and fun videos, students will easily grasp the concepts associated with polymers.

Lesson Objectives

By the end of the lesson, students will be able to:

  • list some synthetic and natural polymers
  • list some characteristics of polymers
  • correctly use the vocabulary associated with polymers
  • demonstrate their knowledge of polymers by modeling different situations
  • compare and contrast natural versus synthetic polymers

Length

  • Two 60-minute class periods
  • One 30-40 minute class period for review

Curriculum Standards

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RST.9-10.3

Follow precisely a complex multistep procedure when carrying out experiments, taking measurements, or performing technical tasks, attending to special cases or exceptions defined in the text.

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RST.9-10.4

Determine the meaning of symbols, key terms, and other domain-specific words and phrases as they are used in a specific scientific or technical context relevant to grades 9-10 texts and topics.

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RST.9-10.5

Analyze the structure of the relationships among concepts in a text, including relationships among key terms (e.g., force, friction, reaction force, energy).

Materials

Materials for Slime (per group)

  • 1/2 cup white glue
  • 1 teaspoon Borax laundry detergent
  • 1-1/2 cup Water
  • Bowls for each student group

Materials for Video 1: Synthetic Polymers

  • Access to the video lesson Synthetic Polymers: Definition & Examples
  • Sticky notes that say 'monomer,' one for each student
  • Materials for Scavenger Hunt
    • A worksheet that is set up for students to find certain polymers in the room or school, for example:
      • Find polyethylene. Write the name of the object containing polyethylene.
      • Find PET. Write the name of the object containing PET.
      • Find an example of a thermoplastic. Write the name of the object that is a thermoplastic.
      • Find PVC. Write the name of the object containing PVC.
    • Synthetic polymers for scavenger hunt such as:
      • Water bottles
      • Plastic duck
      • An object that has the recycle symbol
      • A piece of PVC pipe
      • Hair dryer
  • Paper copies of the synthetic polymers lesson quiz

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