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Stoichiometry and Climate Change Lesson

 31 students
 30 minutes
 1 day long lesson
 10th grade Chemistry

Stage 1 – Desired Results

GOALS: Students will be able to... Understand through stoichiometry how excessive CO2
emissions affect coral reefs.

Understandings/ Big Ideas for the Unit: Essential Questions:

1. For every mole of CO2 absorbed by the ocean, 1. How does climate change relate to human
one mole of CO3- is made unavailable to polyps activity and coral reef ecosystems? Commented [KT3]: From our discussion during the
to build coral reefs (according to the equation 2. How can analyzing climate change through the Teacher led portion of the lesson, I’m convinced at
below) lenses of Chemistry and stoichiometry help us least half of the students have some knowledge about
global warming
2. H2O + CO2 + CO32-  2HCO3- understand how human CO2 emissions affect
3. Decisions individuals make on a daily basis that coral reef ecosystems? Commented [KT1]: From data gathered through the
assessment, I’m not convinced students walked away
affect one’s carbon footprint have real 3. What can we do to protect coral reefs? with this understanding
consequences on coral reef ecosystems, such
Commented [KT2]: Students who read the passage and
as the great barrier reef
answered the comprehension questions demonstrated
this understanding. However, I can’t be sure about the
other students.
Commented [KT4]: I planned to have this discussion as a
conclusion to the lesson, but we ran out of time and
Students will know... (content) Students will be able to... (skills) didn’t get to it.
1. Human CO2 emissions have impacts on coral 1. Calculate and use molar masses Commented [KT6]: Almost all students demonstrated
reef ecosystems such as the great barrier reef 2. Set up and use molar ratios correctly ability in #1 and #2. Half of the students demonstrated
2. Molar ratios convert between moles of one 3. Analyze a short scientific passage and answer ability in #3
compound to moles of another concept questions
3. Molar masses convert between grams/moles of
one compound to grams/moles of the same
compound Commented [KT5]: From data gathered through the
assessment, most students demonstrated these skills

Stage 2 – Assessment Evidence

Assessment Evidence

● Graded classwork (students will finish worksheet Commented [KT7]: Two students didn’t turn in classwork
provided) even though they were present in class. Perhaps my
instructions could have been clearer

Stage 3 - Learning Plan

Learning Activities/ Daily Lessons:

1) Teacher led learning 2) Student led learning

 Who has seen the movie Finding Nemo? Do  Students have 20 minutes to complete Commented [KT11]: In reality, students only had 15
minutes. Overall, the lesson was very rushed (only 30
you know where the movie takes place? stoichiometry practice problems, read science minutes in total) and should have been taught on a day
when we have the full 47 minutes of class
 The great barrier reef is the largest reef passage, and answer comprehension questions
ecosystem in the world, off the coast of about the short paragraph
Australia  Worksheet can be found on pages 3-4 of this
 Who knows what the largest biome in the world lesson plan
is? Answer: the ocean
 Look at the picture of damaged corals. What do
you see?
 Who knows what causes global warming? Commented [KT8]: There was large variation in student
knowledge about global warming, but most students
Clarify the difference between the ozone layer had some idea of the relationship between excessive
and the atmosphere. CO2 emissions affect the CO2 emissions and climate change
CO2 component of the atmosphere, a thickening Commented [KT9]: I could have spent more time on this
atmosphere leads to heavier insulation of point, but I didn’t have enough time to really teach this
infrared radiation from the sun, which warms idea
the planet
 Teacher hands out worksheets
o Today you will use stoichiometry to
understand how the CO2 emissions from
driving your car affect Nemo and other
coral ecosystems
o Teacher explains expectations-
worksheet must be completed by end of
class for credit. Will be checked for Commented [KT10]: This expectation caused some
effort students anxiety since they felt rushed or that they
couldn’t finish on time
Stoichiometry and Climate Change
1. A major contributor to climate change (rising global temperatures) is the burning of fossil fuels. Octane (a Commented [KT12]: We had to skip #1 to save time. I told
major component of gasoline) reacts with oxygen in car engines according to the equation below. students to “read” number 1 but not do the math

C8H18 + O2 ---> CO2 + H2O

a. Identify the type of reaction

b. Balance the reaction (hint: when in trouble, double!)
c. A gallon of gas has a mass of about 2,800.0 grams. Assume one gallon of gas is composed of entirely
octane (C H ). What mass of CO is emitted from burning 2,800.0 grams of octane (C H )?
8 18 2 8 18

2. The carbon dioxide emitted from burning fossil fuels in your car releases into the air and dissolves into the
oceans. CO dissolves in water and reacts with carbonate ion according to the following reaction

CO2 + CO32- + H2O ---> HCO3- Commented [KT13]: Students were confused about the
ionic charges, since I didn’t explain this concept
A. Identify the type of reaction beforehand
B. Balance the reaction (when balancing, ignore ionic charges)
C. For every gallon of gas a car burns, about 2.96 g of CO is absorbed by the oceans. How many moles of

CO is absorbed when 2.96 g CO is dissolved in ocean water?

2 Commented [KT14]: After assessing the classwork
students turned in, almost all students completed parts
D. Read the article below and answer the following questions. A-C correctly
i) How does the chemical reaction above explain the effects of climate change on dying coral reefs, snails, Commented [KT15]: Half of the students had enough time
clams, and urchins? Underline sentences in the passage that help support your answer to attempt part D. Of those students, half of them
provided correct and thoughtful answers
ii) Refer to your work and answer in part B. How does burning fossil fuels in your car hurt coral reefs?
Commented [KT16]: Few students followed this direction
Climate change alters ocean chemistry and kills coral reefs

One third of carbon dioxide that enters the atmosphere dissolves into the ocean. In fact, the oceans Commented [KT17]: A handful of students felt
have absorbed about 1/3 of the carbon dioxide produced from human activities since 1800 and about 1/2 of the overwhelmed by the length of the text
carbon dioxide produced by burning fossil fuels (Sabine et al. 2004). As carbon dioxide in the ocean increases,
ocean pH decreases or becomes more acidic. This is called ocean acidification.
Polyps that attach to corals uptake carbonate ion (CO ) to form calcium carbonate (CaCO ) according

to the synthesis reaction below.

Ca + CO -----> CaCO

Then, corals uptake calcium carbonate (CaCO ) to form their skeletal structures. However, increases in

atmospheric CO cause increases in CO concentrations in the oceans. Increased CO concentrations in the

2 2 2

oceans causes decreases in carbonate ion (CO ) concentrations according to the reaction below.

CO + CO + H O -----> 2HCO
2 3
2 3

Without sufficient carbonate ion (CO ) polyps cannot synthesize calcium carbonate (CaCO ) for corals to

uptake. Without enough calcium carbonate, corals are unable to build their skeletal structures.
Already, the ocean is about 30% more acidic now than it was in 1751 (SCOR 2009). If nothing is done
to reduce carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere, ocean acidification will increase and more and more
corals will be damaged or destroyed.
Ocean acidification affects more than just corals. Snails, clams, and urchins also make calcium
carbonate shells and ocean acidification negatively impacts these organisms as well. Just like corals, ocean
acidification makes it harder for these organisms to absorb the calcium carbonate (CaCO ) they need to

build their shells.