December 2013 Teacher's Guide Table of Contents



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December 2013 Teacher's Guide
Table of Contents



About the Guide 3

Student Questions (from the articles) 4

Answers to Student Questions (from the articles) 6

ChemMatters Puzzle: An Element Fill-In Puzzle 11

Answers to the ChemMatters Puzzle 12

National Science Education Standards (NSES) Correlations 13

Next-Generation Science Standards (NGSS) Correlations 15

Common Core State Standards Connections 17

Anticipation Guides 18

Hot Peppers: Muy Caliente! 19

Global Climate Change: A Reality Check 20

Peering through Urine 21

Morphine & Heroin: The Yin & Yang of Narcotics 22

Opals: Nature’s Colorful Gemstones 23

Hot Peppers: Muy Caliente! 25

Global Climate Change: A Reality Check 26

Peering through Urine 27

Morphine & Heroin: The Yin & Yang of Narcotics 28

Opals: Nature’s Colorful Gemstones 29

Hot Peppers: Muy Caliente! 30

Background Information (teacher information) 30

Connections to Chemistry Concepts (for correlation to course curriculum) 41

Possible Student Misconceptions (to aid teacher in addressing misconceptions) 42

Anticipating Student Questions (answers to questions students might ask in class) 42

In-class Activities (lesson ideas, including labs & demonstrations) 42

Out-of-class Activities and Projects (student research, class projects) 43

References (non-Web-based information sources) 44

Web sites for Additional Information (Web-based information sources) 44

More Web sites on Teacher Information and Lesson Plans (sites geared specifically to teachers) 45



Global Climate Change: A Reality Check 46

Background Information (teacher information) 46

Connections to Chemistry Concepts (for correlation to course curriculum) 66

Possible Student Misconceptions (to aid teacher in addressing misconceptions) 66

Anticipating Student Questions (answers to questions students might ask in class) 67

In-class Activities (lesson ideas, including labs & demonstrations) 68

Out-of-class Activities and Projects (student research, class projects) 69

References (non-Web-based information sources) 70

Web sites for Additional Information (Web-based information sources) 70

Peering through Urine 73

Background Information (teacher information) 73

Connections to Chemistry Concepts (for correlation to course curriculum) 79

Possible Student Misconceptions (to aid teacher in addressing misconceptions) 80

Anticipating Student Questions (answers to questions students might ask in class) 80

In-class Activities (lesson ideas, including labs & demonstrations) 81

Out-of-class Activities and Projects (student research, class projects) 81

References (non-Web-based information sources) 82

Web sites for Additional Information (Web-based information sources) 83

More Web sites on Teacher Information and Lesson Plans (sites geared specifically to teachers) 84



Morphine & Heroin: The Yin and Yang of Narcotics 85

Background Information (teacher information) 85

Connections to Chemistry Concepts (for correlation to course curriculum) 92

Possible Student Misconceptions (to aid teacher in addressing misconceptions) 92

Anticipating Student Questions (answers to questions students might ask in class) 93

In-class Activities (lesson ideas, including labs & demonstrations) 94

Out-of-class Activities and Projects (student research, class projects) 95

References (non-Web-based information sources) 95

Web sites for Additional Information (Web-based information sources) 96

Opals: Playing with Color and Light 98

Background Information (teacher information) 98

Connections to Chemistry Concepts (for correlation to course curriculum) 122

Possible Student Misconceptions (to aid teacher in addressing misconceptions) 122

Anticipating Student Questions (answers to questions students might ask in class) 123

In-class Activities (lesson ideas, including labs & demonstrations) 123

Out-of-class Activities and Projects (student research, class projects) 124

References (non-Web-based information sources) 125

Web sites for Additional Information (Web-based information sources) 126

More Web sites on Teacher Information and Lesson Plans (sites geared specifically to teachers) 131

General Web References (Web information not solely related to article topic) 132

About the Guide

Teacher’s Guide editors William Bleam, Donald McKinney, Ronald Tempest, and Erica K. Jacobsen created the Teacher’s Guide article material. E-mail: bbleam@verizon.net


Susan Cooper prepared the national science education content, anticipation guides, and reading guides.
David Olney created the puzzle.

E-mail: djolney@verizon.net


Patrice Pages, ChemMatters editor, coordinated production and prepared the Microsoft Word and PDF versions of the Teacher’s Guide. E-mail: chemmatters@acs.org
Articles from past issues of ChemMatters can be accessed from a CD that is available from the American Chemical Society for $30. The CD contains all ChemMatters issues from February 1983 to April 2008.
The ChemMatters CD includes an Index that covers all issues from February 1983 to April 2008.
The ChemMatters CD can be purchased by calling 1-800-227-5558.
Purchase information can be found online at www.acs.org/chemmatters

Student Questions (from the articles)


Hot Peppers: Muy Caliente!


    1. Describe some of the effects of eating a Moruga Scorpion, one of the hottest chili peppers in the world.

    2. What compound causes the “hot” taste we experience when eating chili peppers?

    3. How is the hotness of a chili pepper measured?

    4. Discuss why capsaicin’s structure makes water a poor choice to cool the heat of a chili pepper in your mouth.

    5. What are some preferred foods/drinks to cool the heat of a chili pepper in your mouth? Why?

    6. How do chili peppers generate the feeling of heat without actually increasing the temperature of your tongue, mouth, and throat?

    7. Describe what happens when a capsaicin molecule bonds to a pain receptor.

    8. What happens in the body when capsaicin is applied to skin as a pain reliever?



Global Climate Change: A Reality Check


  1. According to the article how much has the Earth’s average surface temperature increased in the last century?

  2. The article mentions an 8 inch rise in sea level since 1870. What two climate change factors caused the sea level increase?

  3. Why is 1870 an important time period in any discussion of climate change?

  4. List five changes brought about by climate change.

  5. List the gases that trap heat in the Earth’s atmosphere.

  6. What is the greenhouse effect?

  7. Describe how scientists know what the Earth’s climate was like thousands of years ago, before recorded temperatures?

  8. What is Global Warming Potential (GWP)?

  9. Besides GWP, what other factor helps to predict the overall effect of a greenhouse gas?

  10. What is carbon sequestration?



Peering through Urine


  1. On average, how much urine does a person produce in a day?

  2. What purpose does urine serve for the body?

  3. What typically makes up a urine solution?

  4. What are some factors that can affect the color of your urine?

  5. List several physical properties of urine that can be observed when analyzing urine for potential signs of sickness.

  6. What is one of the most common ways to detect chemicals in urine?

  7. List several substances that one can test for in the urine using a dipstick.

  8. How is a dipstick able to indicate differing amounts of certain substances in your urine?


Morphine & Heroin: The Yin and Yang of Narcotics


  1. What is the source of morphine?

  2. How does opium differ from morphine?

  3. Heroin is chemically derived from morphine. Describe the chemical reaction that converts morphine to heroin.

  4. What happens to heroin, chemically, when it enters the brain?

  5. What is an endorphin?

  6. In what way is morphine like endorphins?

  7. What is meant by drug tolerance?

  8. Why is heroin usually injected directly into the bloodstream, instead of being taken by mouth as is done with morphine?

  9. What is dopamine?

  10. Why is morphine called a two-edged sword?



Opals: Playing with Color and Light


  1. Name the phenomenon that only opals, among all gemstones, display.

  2. How many silicon atoms surround each oxygen atom in the silica crystal?

  3. How are sand and opal alike? How are they different?

  4. What special characteristic of the structure of precious opal gives it its characteristic play of color?

  5. What is the name of the process that occurs when light is bent?

  6. Why do different colors appear inside an opal?

  7. What two conditions are needed for opals to form?

  8. What is the formula for opal?

  9. What practical application has been made for synthetic polymer opals?

  10. How do these polymer films work?





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