Key Concepts:

A physics change, such together a state adjust or dissolving, walk not develop a new substance, however a chemical change does.In a chemical reaction, the atoms and also molecules that connect with each various other are dubbed reactants.In a chemical reaction, the atoms and molecules produced by the reaction are referred to as products. In a chemical reaction, just the atoms existing in the reactants can finish up in the products. No brand-new atoms are created, and no atoms room destroyed.In a chemistry reaction, reactants call each other, bonds between atoms in the reactants space broken, and also atoms rearrange and form new bond to make the products.

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The teacher will use a tiny candle fire to demonstrate a chemistry reaction between the candle wax and also oxygen in the air. Student will see a molecular animation of the burning of methane and also oxygen together a design of a comparable reaction. Students will use atom model cut-outs to design the reaction and see the all the atoms in the reactants show up in the products.


Students will have the ability to explain that for a chemical reaction to take place, the bonds in between atoms in the reactants are broken, the atom rearrange, and brand-new bonds between the atoms are created to do the products. Student will additionally be able to explain that in a chemical reaction, no atom are developed or destroyed.


Download the student activity sheet, and distribute one per student once specified in the activity. The activity sheet will certainly serve as the “Evaluate” ingredient of every 5-E great plan.


Be certain you and also the students wear properly fitting goggles. Be cautious when lighting the candle. Be sure that the match and candle are totally extinguished when you room finished with the demonstration.

Materials because that the Demonstration

Tea irradiate candle or other little stable candle MatchesGlass jar, big enough to be placed over the candle

Materials because that Each Student

Atom cut-outs from the activity sheetSheet the colored document or construction paperColored pencilsScissorsGlue or tape

Review what happens throughout a physical adjust and introduce the idea of chemistry change.

Tell students the in vault chapters they have actually studied different elements of physics change. Once atoms and also molecules speed up or slow down, the is a physical change. Once they change state from liquid to heavy or from gas come liquid, the is a physics change. As soon as a substance is liquified by water or some other solvent, a brand-new substance has not yes, really been formed. The ions or molecules can still come earlier together to kind the initial substance.

Let students recognize that in this thing they will discover what happens during a chemical change. In a chemical change, the atom in the reaction rearrange themselves and also bond together differently to form one or an ext new assets with different qualities than the reactants. As soon as a brand-new substance is formed, the adjust is called a chemical change.

As a demonstration, irradiate a candle and explain what is happening using the state reactants, products, and chemical reaction.

Explain the in most chemical reactions, two or much more substances, called reactants, communicate to produce different substances dubbed products. Phone call students the burning a candle is an instance of a chemistry reaction.

Materials because that the Demonstration

Tea irradiate candle or other small stable candle MatchesGlass jar, huge enough to be inserted over the candle


Carefully light a tea irradiate candle or other small candle.Keep the candle burning as you ask student the inquiries below. You will placed the candle the end in the second part of the demonstration.

Expected outcomes

The wick will record on fire and the flame will be sustained by the chemistry reaction.

The complying with question is no easy and also students space not meant to understand the answer in ~ this point. However, thinking about a candle burn in terms of a chemical reaction is a good place come start developing what it means when substances react chemically.

Ask students:

What execute you think are the reactants in this chemistry reaction? Wax and also oxygen native the air room the reactants.

Students frequently say the the wire or wick is burning. It is true that the cable of the wick go burn but it’s the wax ~ above the string and not so much the string itself that burns and keeps the candle burning. Describe that the molecules that make up the wax integrate with oxygen indigenous the waiting to make the products carbon dioxide and water vapor.

Point the end to students the this is one of the major characteristics the a chemistry reaction: In a chemistry reaction, atoms in the reactants combine in new and various ways to kind the molecule of the products.

Students may be surprised that water deserve to be developed from combustion. Since we usage water come extinguish a fire, it might seem strange the water is actually produced by combustion. You might want come let students know that once they “burn” food in your bodies, they likewise produce carbon dioxide and also water.

Place a jar over the candle to assist students realize that oxygen is a reactant in the burning of a candle.

Remind students the air is a mixture of gases. Define that as soon as something burns, the reacts through the oxygen in the air.

Ask students to make a prediction:

Will the candle still burn if among the reaction (wax or oxygen) is no much longer available? Students may guess the the candle will certainly not burn since both reactants are compelled for the chemical reaction to continue.


Carefully ar a glass jar over the lit candle.


Expected Results

The flame goes out.

Ask students:

Why execute you think the flame goes out as soon as we put a jar over the candle? placing a jar end the candle limits the quantity of oxygen in the air about the candle. Without sufficient oxygen to react with the wax, the chemistry reaction cannot take it place and the candle cannot burn. Once a candle burns because that a while, it at some point gets smaller and also smaller. Whereby does the candle wax go? when a candle burns, the candle wax appears to “disappear.” the doesn’t yes, really disappear, though: It reacts chemically, and also the brand-new products go into the air.

Note: part curious students may ask what the fire is made of. This is a good question and not trivial come answer. The fire is burning wax vapor. The irradiate of the flame is resulted in by a process called chemiluminescence. Power released in the chemistry reaction makes electrons from various molecules relocate to a higher energy state. Once the electrons come earlier down, energy is exit in the kind of light.


Have students do a model to display that in a chemistry reaction the atom of the reactants rearrange to kind the products.

Question come Investigate

Where carry out the atoms in the assets of a chemical reaction come from?

Materials because that Each Student

Atom design cut-outs (carbon, oxygen, and also hydrogen)Sheet the colored paper or building paperColored pencilsScissorsGlue or tape


Prepare the AtomsColor the carbon atoms black, the oxygen atom red, and also leave the hydrogen atoms white. Usage scissors to very closely cut out the atoms.Build the Reactants

On a sheet of paper, location the atoms together to make the molecules of the reaction on the left next of the chemical equation because that the combustion of methane.

Write the chemistry formula under every molecule that the reactants. Likewise draw a + sign in between the reactants.

After you room sure the students have actually made and also written the formula for the reactant molecules, phone call students the they will certainly rearrange the atom in the reactants to type the products.

Build the ProductsDraw an arrowhead after the second oxygen molecule to present that a chemical reaction is acquisition place.Rearrange the atom in the reactants to do the molecules in the commodities on the appropriate side that the arrow. Compose the chemistry formula under every molecule of the products. Additionally draw a + sign in between the products.

Tell students that in a chemical reaction, the atoms in the reaction come apart, rearrange, and make new bonds to type the products.

Represent the chemistry EquationHave students use their staying atoms to make the reaction again to represent the chemical reaction as a complete chemical equation. Adhesive or ice the atoms to the file to make a an ext permanent chemistry equation of the burning of methane.Extend

Introduce 2 other burning reactions and also have students examine to view whether or not they room balanced.

Tell student that, in enhancement to the wax and methane, part other common hydrocarbons are propane (the fuel in outdoor gas grills), and butane (the fuel in disposable lighters). Have actually students counting the number of carbon, hydrogen, and also oxygen atom in the reactants and products of each equation to watch if the equation is balanced. They must record the variety of each type of atom in the chart on their activity sheet.

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Lighting an outdoor gas grill—Combustion the propane

C3H8 + 5O2 → 3CO2 + 4H20

Using a disposable lighter—Combustion that butane

2C4H10 + 13O2 → 8CO2 + 10H2O

After students have counted up each kind of atom, evaluation their answers to make sure they know how to interpret subscripts and coefficients.