Key Concepts:

A physical change, such together a state readjust or dissolving, go not create a new substance, however a chemical adjust does.In a chemistry reaction, the atoms and also molecules that communicate with each other are called reactants.In a chemical reaction, the atoms and molecules produced by the reaction are dubbed products. In a chemistry reaction, just the atoms current in the reactants can finish up in the products. No brand-new atoms are created, and also no atoms room destroyed.In a chemistry reaction, reactants contact each other, bonds in between atoms in the reactants are broken, and atoms rearrange and form new binding to make the products.

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


Students will be able to explain the for a chemical reaction to take place, the bonds in between atoms in the reactants are broken, the atoms rearrange, and new bonds in between the atom are developed to make the products. Student will likewise be may be to explain that in a chemistry reaction, no atom are produced or destroyed.


Download the student activity sheet, and also distribute one every student as soon as specified in the activity. The activity sheet will serve as the “Evaluate” ingredient of each 5-E class plan.


Be certain you and also the college student wear correctly fitting goggles. Be mindful when light the candle. Be certain that the match and candle are fully extinguished once you are finished v the demonstration.

Materials because that the Demonstration

Tea light candle or other small stable candle MatchesGlass jar, big enough to be put over the candle

Materials because that Each Student

Atom cut-outs from the task sheetSheet that colored document or building and construction paperColored pencilsScissorsGlue or tape

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

Tell students the in vault chapters they have studied different aspects of physics change. When atoms and also molecules rate up or slow-moving down, that is a physical change. Once they readjust state from fluid to heavy or indigenous gas come liquid, the is a physical change. When a substance is dissolved by water or some other solvent, a new substance has actually not yes, really been formed. The ion or molecules can still come earlier together to kind the original substance.

Let students understand 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 in different way to form one or an ext new products with different characteristics than the reactants. As soon as a new substance is formed, the readjust is referred to as a chemistry change.

As a demonstration, irradiate a candle and also explain what is happening making use of the state reactants, products, and also chemical reaction.

Explain the in many chemical reactions, two or much more substances, called reactants, connect to produce different substances called products. Tell students that 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, big enough to be inserted over the candle


Carefully light a tea irradiate candle or other small candle.Keep the candle burning together you ask students the questions below. You will placed the candle the end in the second component of the demonstration.

Expected results

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

The following question is not easy and students space not expected to recognize the answer at this point. However, thinking around a candle burning in regards to a chemical reaction is a an excellent place come start developing what it means when substances react chemically.

Ask students:

What do you think are the reactants in this chemical reaction? Wax and oxygen native the air room the reactants.

Students often say that the cable or wick is burning. The is true that the string of the wick go burn yet it’s the wax ~ above the string and also not so much the wire itself the burns and also keeps the candle burning. Define that the molecule that make up the wax combine with oxygen indigenous the wait to do the commodities carbon dioxide and water vapor.

Point the end to students the this is just one of the major characteristics that a chemical reaction: In a chemistry reaction, atom in the reactants incorporate in brand-new and different ways to type the molecule of the products.

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

Place a jar end the candle to aid students realize the oxygen is a reactant in the burning of a candle.

Remind students that air is a mixture that gases. Describe that once something burns, it reacts v the oxygen in the air.

Ask college student to do a prediction:

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


Carefully location a glass jar over the lit candle.


Expected Results

The fire goes out.

Ask students:

Why carry out you think the fire goes out as soon as we put a jar over the candle? placing a jar end the candle boundaries the amount of oxygen in the air about the candle. Without enough oxygen to react through the wax, the chemical reaction cannot take it place and the candle can not burn. When a candle burns for a while, it ultimately gets smaller and also smaller. Whereby does the candle wax go? as soon as a candle burns, the candle wax appears to “disappear.” it doesn’t yes, really disappear, though: It reaction chemically, and also the brand-new products go into the air.

Note: part curious students might ask what the fire is make of. This is a great question and also not trivial come answer. The flame is burn wax vapor. The irradiate of the flame is led to by a procedure called chemiluminescence. Energy released in the chemical reaction provides electrons from various molecules move to a higher energy state. Once the electron come back down, energy is released in the type of light.


Have students make a version to present that in a chemistry reaction the atoms of the reactants rearrange to type the products.

Question come Investigate

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

Materials for Each Student

Atom version cut-outs (carbon, oxygen, and hydrogen)Sheet of colored file or building paperColored pencilsScissorsGlue or tape


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

On a paper of paper, ar the atoms together to make the molecules of the reaction on the left side of the chemical equation because that the burning of methane.

Write the chemistry formula under every molecule of the reactants. Also draw a + sign in between the reactants.

After you room sure the students have made and also written the formula for the reactant molecules, call students that they will certainly rearrange the atoms in the reaction to form the products.

Build the ProductsDraw an arrow after the second oxygen molecule to show that a chemistry reaction is acquisition place.Rearrange the atoms in the reactants to do the molecules in the products on the best side that the arrow. Create the chemical formula under every molecule the the products. Likewise draw a + sign in between the products.

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

Represent the chemistry EquationHave students use their continuing to be atoms to make the reactants again to stand for the chemical reaction together a complete chemical equation. Adhesive or ice cream the atoms to the document to do a more permanent chemical equation the the burning of methane.Extend

Introduce two other burning reactions and also have students check to see whether or not they room balanced.

Tell student that, in enhancement to the wax and also methane, some other usual hydrocarbons room propane (the fuel in the end gas grills), and also butane (the fuel in disposable lighters). Have students counting the number of carbon, hydrogen, and also oxygen atom in the reactants and also products of every equation to see if the equation is balanced. They should record the variety of each form of atom in the chart on their activity sheet.

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Lighting an out gas grill—Combustion that propane

C3H8 + 5O2 → 3CO2 + 4H20

Using a disposable lighter—Combustion the butane

2C4H10 + 13O2 → 8CO2 + 10H2O

After students have actually counted increase each type of atom, testimonial their answers to make sure they know just how to analyze subscripts and coefficients.