1. As students enter the classroom, have questions posted
them to respond:
- What is meant by the conservation of mass? (Hint-balancing
- These are all combustion reactions with organic compounds.
What two products are always formed
from the combustion
of organic compounds?
2. Review answers to assigned questions. The
last equation may be difficult for students.
Try practicing more
equations, if necessary. There is a balancing
with interactive practice (see Related and
3. Discuss again the idea of mass conservation.
Look at products for last equation to be
balanced. If another
atom of sulfur was present in the reactant,
how would this effect the balanced equation?
re-balance the equation with another sulfur
4. In general, combustion reactions are all
very similar, producing carbon dioxide
depend on other present elements. Sulfur
will produce sulfur
dioxide. Nitrogen will produce nitrogen
dioxide or nitrogen monoxide. Coal is a very complex
countless compounds. This discussion of
mass conservation will help students understand
products of coal combustion
based on relative elemental composition.
5. Allow students to have the remainder of
the class to begin researching coal. Here
them: NOTE: Most teachers will need computer
lab for an entire class for Internet research.
- What is coal composed of?
- What names are used in classifying coal? Describe their
- What compounds are created through coal combustion?
Are there other
that might not
Students begin by using websites
labeled coal classification,
World Coal Institute,
macerals (see Related
and Resource websites). These
websites are a good starting
place but encourage
6. Discuss and summarize class
findings. When discussing the
by coal combustion
to get an idea of students’ previous knowledge
about environmental health concerns, because they will
be researching these next.
Day 2 and 3
1. The discussion from the
end of Day 1 might need to
at the beginning
Day 2. Otherwise,
some of ideas from Day 1.
2. In preparation for the
lesson ‘s final project,
a short paper on the potential environmental health impacts
of coal combustion products, begin to gauge how much
experience your students have had with research, especially
Internet. Discuss search engines, keyword searching,
and evaluating credible sources. Try allowing students
to independently research today, helping them when necessary.
3. Ask students to research
potential environmental health
of coal combustion products.
A massive amount
of information is available
on these topics, so two days
given for students
through it all.
before, this is a chance for
them to have guided practice
Monitor the class
closely to ensure they are
on-task, finding reliable information,
and refining their search as
necessary. Otherwise, allow
curiosity and answering their
4. As students finish their
research, they should begin
to write their
to write a one
to two page paper describing
potential health impacts of
products. As much
as possible students
should refer to the chemical
The short paper on the
environmental health impacts of coal combustion will
need to be completed at home.
Some ideas for grading the paper:
1. Is the paper well organized, with an introduction,
body, and conclusion?
2. Does the student reference information properly?
3. Are the sources used reliable? If they are slanted,
does the student present the information as fact when
it might not be?
4. Are opinions on the environmental health impacts
of coal backed with factual research?