Ch 2: Characteristics & Chemicals of Life - Middle School Life Science: Homeschool Curriculum

About This Chapter

The Characteristics and Chemicals of Life unit of this Middle School Life Science Homeschool course is designed to help homeschooled students learn about chemicals used by living organisms. Parents can use the short videos to introduce topics, break up lessons and keep students engaged.

Who's it for?

This unit of our Middle School Life Science Homeschool course will benefit any student who is trying to learn about chemical substances in biology. There is no faster or easier way to learn about characteristics and chemicals of life. Among those who would benefit are:

  • Students who require an efficient, self-paced course of study to learn about atomic numbers, matter, chemical bonds, the periodic table and balance atoms. .
  • Homeschool parents looking to spend less time preparing lessons and more time teaching.
  • Homeschool parents who need a life science curriculum that appeals to multiple learning types (visual or auditory).
  • Gifted students and students with learning differences.

How it works:

  • Students watch a short, fun video lesson that covers a specific unit topic.
  • Students and parents can refer to the video transcripts to reinforce learning.
  • Short quizzes and a Characteristics and Chemicals of Life unit exam confirm understanding or identify any topics that require review.

Characteristics and Chemicals of Life Unit Objectives:

  • Understand the needs and characteristics of living organisms.
  • Compare chemical properties vs. physical properties.
  • Review the phases of matter, including solids, gases, liquids and plasma.
  • Identify the protons, neutrons and electrons of an atom.
  • Discover the placements and importance of the electron shell.
  • Compare mass numbers with atomic numbers.
  • Review what elements are and their various uses.
  • Examine the formation of isotopic elements.
  • Understand why bonding doesn't occur in noble gases.
  • See the layout and properties of the periodic table.
  • Learn how compounds, elements and molecules are connected.
  • Read the method for combining chemicals.
  • Review ionic and covalent chemical bonds.
  • Learn how to balance atoms and draft chemical reactions.

9 Lessons in Chapter 2: Characteristics & Chemicals of Life - Middle School Life Science: Homeschool Curriculum
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
Matter: Physical and Chemical Properties

1. Matter: Physical and Chemical Properties

How are substances identified? There are two major ways we can describe a substance: physical properties and chemical properties. Learn about how chemists use properties to classify matter as either a mixture or a pure substance.

States of Matter: Solids, Liquids, Gases & Plasma

2. States of Matter: Solids, Liquids, Gases & Plasma

Learn the four states of matter in the universe: solid, liquid, gas and plasma. Learn about the differences in shape and volume among the four states, which of the states is the most common and why plasma conducts electricity.

The Atom

3. The Atom

Tune into this lesson to find out what matters about matter. What exactly is an atom? And, how do the atoms that make up the elements in the periodic table differ from one another?

The Electron Shell

4. The Electron Shell

You may be familiar with the role of electrons in electrical devices, but did you know that electrons also determine the chemical reactivity of everything around you?

Atomic Number and Mass Number

5. Atomic Number and Mass Number

Atoms are the basic building blocks of everything around you. In order to really understand how atoms combine to form molecules, it's necessary to be familiar with their structure. In this lesson, we'll dissect atoms so we can see just what really goes into those little building blocks of matter.

What Are Elements?

6. What Are Elements?

Look around you. What do you see? Elements are everywhere. They are the building blocks of all matter on Earth. In this lesson, we will discuss what an element is, how elements are written as symbols, and how elements are the building blocks of all matter.

Isotopes and Average Atomic Mass

7. Isotopes and Average Atomic Mass

When you drink a glass of water, you are actually drinking a combination of heavy water and light water. What's the difference? Is it harmful? This video will explain the difference between the two types of water and go into detail on the significance of the different isotopes of elements.

The Periodic Table: Properties of Groups and Periods

8. The Periodic Table: Properties of Groups and Periods

How is the periodic table like the map you used on your last road trip? In this lesson, you will be introduced to the periodic table, the road map of chemists. We will discuss how the elements are organized and how you can use this organization to identify some of their major physical properties.

Understanding the Relationships between Elements, Molecules & Compounds

9. Understanding the Relationships between Elements, Molecules & Compounds

Everything on Earth is made of atoms, and sometimes they combine to form new groups of atoms. The sky is the limit when it comes to these combinations, which account for the vast number of things we find in our natural world.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
Not Taken
Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
Not Taken

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Other Chapters

Other chapters within the Middle School Life Science: Homeschool Curriculum course

Support