Scope, Sequence, and Coordination

A Framework for High School Science Education

Based on the National Science Education Standards

Properties of Useful Carbon Compounds

Hydrocarbons, Polymers, and Organic Macromolecules
Carbon atoms can bond to one another in chains, rings, and branching networks to form a variety of structures, including synthetic polymers, oils, and the large molecules essential to life.

Further Description:

Many molecules containing large numbers of atoms have useful chemical and physical properties that can be measured. Examples of physical properties are viscosity of lubricating oils; density, hardness, and melting point of plastics; and solubility of fats and oils. These properties can be explained in terms of the different bonding and structural classes of molecules and the kinds of atoms present in addition to carbon.

Concepts Needed:

Grade 9

Hydrocarbon, viscosity, density, hardness, electrical conductivity, melting point, solubility, structural formula, chains, rings, polymers, functional groups, isomers

Grade 10

Networks, branching networks

Grade 11

Alkane, alkene, alkyne, alcohol, aldehyde, ketone, ester, acid

Grade 12

Substitution reaction, elimination reaction, addition reaction, semiconductor, doping

Empirical Laws or Observed Relationships:


Theories or Models:

None suggested

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Micro-Unit Description:

Properties of Useful Carbon Compounds
Students should observe simple organic compounds and name and write formulas for them. It is important that experience precede terminology, and this kind of experience and naming, even without other levels of understanding, is very important.They should investigate the properties of (and/or synthesize when relatively simple and safe) carbon compounds useful to humans, such as dyes, medicinals, detergents, plastics, perfumes, fabrics, food, and fuels. They should also investigate the origin of these compounds (coal, petroleum, natural gas, plants, and animals).

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