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Lubna Attal

Lesson: Nuclear Fission

Unit: Atomic & Nuclear Chemistry
Grade Level: 9th grade
Time: 45 minutes
Essential Question:
1. What is fission?
2. What is the difference between controlled and uncontrolled
Students will be able to:
1. Distinguish between controlled and uncontrolled fission
2. Write fission reactions
Content Summary:
Students have learned about the atom, the structure of an atom,
isotopes, and have now begun to learn about nuclear chemistry. They
have learned about three types of nuclear decay: alpha, beta, and
gamma. For this lesson they are specifically learning about the first
type of nuclear reactionfission. There are two types of fission
reactions, controlled and uncontrolled. Uncontrolled fission is seen in
things like the atomic bomb, while controlled fission is seen in things
like nuclear power plants. They will learn how to distinguish fission
from the other nuclear reactions as well. Through the idea of an
arrow in chemistry being an equal sign in math, they well
understand that both sides of a nuclear reaction must be balanced.

Fission is the splitting of an atom

Controlled vs. Uncontrolled Fission

New York State Standards:
4.4b: Nuclear reactions include natural and artificial transmutation,
fission, and fusion.
4.4c: Nuclear reactions can be represented by equations that include
symbols, which represent atomic nuclei (with mass number and atomic

number), subatomic particles (with mass number and charge), and/or

emissions such as gamma radiation.
4.4f: There are benefits and risks associated with fission and fusion
Next Generation Science Standards:
HS-PS1-8: Develop models to illustrate the changes in the
composition of the nucleus of the atom and the energy released during
the processes of fission, fusion, and radioactive decay.
Scope & Sequence
Do Now: (10 minutes)
1. Equation exercise
2. Introduction to Nuclear Chemistry Video
Mini Lesson: (20 minutes)

Filling in information on Nuclear Fission

Introducing Controlled vs. Uncontrolled Nuclear Fission
Going through how to go about solving a Fission Nuclear Reaction
on Board via example!

Independent Work: (15 minutes)

Will go through several practice problems on fission nuclear reactions
but will also have a few review questions on alpha, beta, and gamma
IEP Modification: Fewer practice problems in class, no recap on decay
material so that the emphasis is on the new material in class.
Homework will contain a few examples of old materials.
Students will be assessed via the independent work they complete. Will
be going around to see their progress through the problems assigned.

Students will be assigned homework problems on fission reactions as

well as on the alpha, beta, and gamma decay. Two extended response
questions will be assigned on the material as well.
IEP Modification: Will have fewer homework problems. Extended
response will be formulated differently; via some sort of graphic
organizer and sentence starters will be provided.