Solutions CP Handout

Julie Wasylnka
“Solutions” is a major unit within the SCH3U course. Within this unit, the theoretical
concepts of solutions formation and solubility of various substances are major subtopics.
There are many connections to biology, the health sciences and the environment which
makes teaching about STSE concepts fairly straightforward. Indeed, all the major
chemical reactions of life take place because of solution chemistry.
Big Ideas
Properties of solutions can be described qualitatively and quantitatively, and can be
Living things depend for their survival on the unique physical and chemical properties of
People have a responsibility to protect the integrity of Earth’s water resources.
E1. analyze the origins and effects of water pollution, and a variety of economic, social, and
environmental issues related to drinking water;
E2. investigate qualitative and quantitative properties of solutions, and solve related problems
E3. demonstrate an understanding of qualitative and quantitative properties of solutions
E1.2 analyze the economic, social, and environmental issues related to the distribution,
purification, or use of drinking water (e.g., the impact on the environment of the use of bottled
water) [AI, C]
E2.4 conduct an investigation to analyse qualitative and quantitative properties of solutions
(e.g., perform a qualitative analysis of ions in a solution) [PR, AI]
E3.2 explain the process of formation for solutions that are produced by dissolving ionic and
molecular compounds (e.g., salt, oxygen) in water, and for solutions that are produced by
Expectations dissolving non-polar solutes in non-polar solvents (e.g., grease in vegetable oil)
E 3.3 explain the effects of changes in temperature and pressure on the solubility of solids,
liquids, and gases (e.g., explain how a change in temperature or atmospheric pressure
affects the solubility of oxygen in lake water)
E 3.4 identify, using a solubility table, the formation of precipitates in aqueous solutions (e.g.,
the use of iron or aluminum compounds to precipitate and remove phosphorus from
The solutions unit usually follows the stoichiometry unit. The qualitative properties of solutions
and solubility should be introduced before quantitative solution chemistry is studied. Students
should have a basic understanding of the the mole and of matter and bonding. Often a review
of Lewis structures and intermolecular forces is necessary at the beginning of the unit.
Difficulties determining whether a
solvent/solute is polar or non-polar
Review concepts of intermolecular forces
Have students draw out Lewis structures of
the solvents
Make molecular models of substances
Increasing the temperature of a
solution increases the solubility of
solid and gases solutes.
Carbonated beverages demo
Solubility tables are difficult to read
and comprehend
Students create their own tables
Mostly Insoluble: (CHOPS) Carbonates,
Hydroxides, Oxides, Phosphates, and
Mostly Soluble: (NAAA) Nitrates, Acetates,
Alkali Metals, Ammonium
Explain how the solubility tables were derived
1. Water chemistry
o Water treatment: purification and waste water
2. IV solutions
o Hospitals use IV solutions of glucose and salts to balance electrolytes in patients
3. Air quality
o Air is a gaseous solution. Monitoring air quality and improving air quality are
major environmental concerns.
4. Reactions of the human body occur in solution
o All reactions that occur in your body occur in solution
5. Metal alloys: brass, bronze, steel
o Many substances used in the construction industry are solid metal solutions.
Students on IEPs and/or ELL learners will need certain modifications on some activities in this
unit. Scaffolded handouts for note-taking can help these students. Building molecular models of
the solutes/solvents may help in the visualizing of whether a substance is polar or non-polar. In
addition, they may require a more structured inquiry for the Mystery compounds lab.
Blake, B. 2003. J. Chem. Ed. Solubility Rules: Three Suggestions for Improved Understanding.
Vol 80: 1348-1350.
 This article discusses several misconceptions associated with the topic of solubility and
precipitation reactions and makes suggestions for increased student understanding.
Lagowski, J. J. 2004. “ Chemistry. Foundations and Applications.”;col1.
 General description on Solutions Chemistry.
Lindsey May, Jessica Kotke, and Charles R. Bomar. 2006. But It’s Just a Bottle of Water...
University of Wisconsin–Stout. National center for case study teachng in Science.
 This case study explores the environmental effects associated with the production,
consumption, and recycling of bottled water.
 Students use a molecular model building set to predict whether two substances will form
a solution based on the polarity of the molecules
 In this activity students will investigate the solubilities of seven solutes in two different
solvents - water (H2O), a polar solvent; and vegetable oil, a nonpolar solvent. Solubility Rules and the Mystery Solutions. Ohio
Department of Education.
 An animation on solvation from McGraw Hill Higher Education.
Solubility Rules and the Mystery Solutions. Ohio Department of Education.
 In this activity, students use the solubility rules to make predictions on the results of
mixing various solutions.
The Water bottle problem:
 This you tube video highlights the environmental tragedy of using bottled water.