Disciplinary Text Set

The students in my practicum are currently learning about stoichiometry, which is the mathematical relationships between the reactants and the products in a chemical reaction. This chapter could be difficult for students because some of the concepts tend to be very abstract, since atoms or molecules are too small to see. The chapter on stoichiometry has multiple subtopics including the Avogadro’s number, balancing chemical equations, and determining the molar mass of chemical compounds. The text-set created below would help students in visualizing the concepts through different models, and remembering the course material more effectively.

Chapter 12: Stoichiometry (Online Textbook)


Foundation, C. (2016, August 23). Chapter 12: Stoichiometry. Retrieved March 15, 2017, from http://www.ck12.org/book/CK-12-Chemistry-Concepts-Intermediate/section/12.0/

This is an online article dedicated to explaining different operations and knowledge the students need in order to perform stoichiometry. This article serves as a catalog of information where students can retrieve information whenever they need to do so. Texts in science serve a different purpose than in other subjects. One of the skills a science student needs is identifying the information they need and locating the information in a text. Therefore, this article provides students opportunities to practice this literacy skill.

book-squashedText Complexity: According to the StoryToolz, the average grade level of the text was 8.5. The highest-grade level was 9.8 from Gunning fog index, and the lowest grade level was school year 6 from Laesbarhedsindex Formula. Considering the fact that this text-set is designed for high school students, the text should be relatively easy for students to read. For qualitative analysis, SCASS rubric was used. The text structure and the purpose of this text was slightly complex, because the text followed a sequential order and was easy to predict. Language features are very complex, the text was explicit, easy to understand, but the vocabulary in the text required understanding of scientific terms that are not usually used in a daily setting. Because of this, the knowledge demands of this text was also very complex.

Some of the vocabularies that needs instructions previously or during this section includes moles, reactants, products, limiting reagents, molar mass, periodic table.

Task complexity: The purpose of using this text is to provide students a body of knowledge that students can go to and retrieve necessary information as they learn about stoichiometry. This text is divided into different sections where students can identify and choose what they would like to learn. As mentioned above in the summary, one of important literacies in science is to be able to identify and locate the information they need from a body of information. This text provides the opportunity to students to practice them.


Balancing chemical equations for beginners (Video)


S. (2015, April 10). Balancing Chemical Equations for beginners. Retrieved March 15, 2017, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4jISjQvdyhs

Summary: This video introduces how to balance a chemical equation. This concept tends to be a difficult one because this concept is abstract and atoms or molecules are too small to see. This video breaks down difficult vocabularies and with appropriate analogies explains how to balance chemical equations correctly.

Text complexity: The video uses cartoon-like images to help students feel more comfortable and provides easier understanding of the material. Instead of using atoms or molecules, the video uses children on a see-saw as an analogy to explain what balancing chemical reaction means. For high school students this video should be easy to watch. The transcript of the video was analyzed by StoryToolz, and the average grade level was determined to be 7. This low level of complexity helps students focus on the concept attainment rather than spending unnecessary time decoding the message. Qualitatively the video is only slightly complex as the language used in the video is simple, with only a small amount of vocabulary that needs to be understood before watching the video.

Task complexity: The purpose of this video is very straightforward. Its purpose is to introduce how to balance a chemical equation and explain its process and its intentions. The text complexity matches the task complexity well because the low level of text complexity helps the students to focus on learning the concept.


Reactants, Products, and Leftovers (Game)


Reactants, Products and Leftovers. (2016, December 06). Retrieved March 15, 2017, from https://phet.colorado.edu/en/simulation/reactants-products-and-leftovers

This is an online manipulative game that seeks to provide students an opportunity to practice what limiting reagents are. Students in my practicum are used to different types of online manipulatives, and students can go to this website and practice whenever they would like to. This will serve as a great method of review that interests the students.

Text Complexity: Because this is an online manipulative that has the form of a game, the text quantitatively tends to be very simple. Instead of traditional texts, different models are used to represent different types of molecules and compounds. Qualitatively however, this game requires students to be familiar with the scientific vocabularies used in stoichiometry.

Task complexity: This game helps motivate students to practice what they’ve learned in the classroom and review necessary thought processes in determining the limiting reagent in a chemical reaction. Students are asked to retrieve previously learned concepts and apply them to finish the game. This quantitatively simple, but qualitatively complex text allows students to focus on the specific scientific concept applied in the game and to successfully complete the game.



Traditional Textbook: Zumdahl, S. S. (2004). Introductory chemistry. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. Pg 221-225.

Online Textbook: Foundation, C. (2016, August 23). Chapter 12: Stoichiometry. Retrieved March 15, 2017, from http://www.ck12.org/book/CK-12-Chemistry-Concepts-Intermediate/section/12.0/

Video: S. (2015, April 10). Balancing Chemical Equations for beginners. Retrieved March 15, 2017, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4jISjQvdyhs

Interactive lab: Balancing Chemical Equations. (2016, December 06). Retrieved March 15, 2017, from https://phet.colorado.edu/en/simulation/balancing-chemical-equations

Games: Reactants, Products and Leftovers. (2016, December 06). Retrieved March 15, 2017, from https://phet.colorado.edu/en/simulation/reactants-products-and-leftovers

Avogadro Song: P. (2013, January 27). Avogadro’s Number Song. Retrieved March 15, 2017, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R76zj9Y6zxI



6 thoughts on “Disciplinary Text Set

  1. As someone who struggled most with science in school than any other subject, I love your video on balancing chemical reactions. The video explains it simply which is helpful as it is such a key idea. You plan on using this as an introduction to balancing chemical reactions. Would you teach at all before showing this video? How would you follow this video in your lesson to engage students with the content of the video?


    1. The video is short, but it has a lot of information in it that needs to be explored in detail. For example, it mentions the law of conservation of mass to give why balancing chemical equations is important, and we often spend an entire class period to teach this concept. Therefore, I think this video could be used in both the beginning and at the end of a lesson. If it was used in the beginning of the lesson, it could be used to help students have a big picture of what they would learn about. If this was presented at the end of the lesson, this could help students solidify the material they’ve learned, and help them remember.


  2. I really like the game that you found. It seems like it would be a very helpful way to practice material as well a help students self assess their own understanding. Is the game something you would do in class or give as homework? How much time would you spend on it and would it be optional?


    1. The game can be used in a review session if you want to use it in class, homework would also be a good option though all students need to have access to internet at home. As a review activity, I wouldn’t spend too much time on it, I would just use it to help make reviews more motivating for students.


  3. I surely could see that your video will help a lot with your students’ understanding, since this video holds a lot of information. Are you planning to teach each concept at a time or stop the video and add the explanation that they need for a certain point ? Would you be able to provide a study sheet/ graphic organizer that will aid students’ learning that would also in a way be considerate their learning styles ?


  4. David, these are great texts- challenging and engaging. I wonder, have you actually shared any of these resources in your practicum context? If so- how have your students transacted with them? What did your mentor teacher think about them?


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