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Lesson Plan: Rates of Reactions Science

This lesson plan includes the objectives, prerequisites, and exclusions of the lesson teaching students how to describe the rate of a chemical reaction and explain the effect the type of reagent and the surface area have on it.


Students will be able to

  • give examples of chemical reactions that take place over a variety of different time spans,
  • describe how concentrations of reactants and products change over time during the course of a reaction,
  • draw graphs to show concentrations of reactants and products changing over time,
  • define the term rate of reaction as the change in the concentration of the reactants and products per unit of time,
  • list the factors affecting the speed of chemical reactions: nature of reactants, concentration of reactants, temperature of the reaction, and catalysts,
  • describe how the nature of reactants affects the rate of reaction,
  • explain how the ability to form ions means that covalent compounds are slow to react and ionic compounds are fast to react,
  • explain how surface area affects the rate of reaction,
  • describe an experiment that uses iron (filings and blocks) and dilute hydrochloric acid to investigate the effect of surface area on the rate of reaction.


Students should already be familiar with

  • chemical reactions.


Students will not cover

  • details on the effects of temperature and concentration on rates of reactions,
  • catalysts.

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