Bring chemistry to life by making your students aware of the chemical compounds in the products that they use every day! After you teach the naming scheme for binary and polyatomic ionic compounds (sodium chloride, magnesium hydroxide, potassium sulfate, etc.), and for molecular (covalently bonded) compounds (silicon dioxide, carbon tetrachloride), assign this mini-research project to get them searching for chemical compounds that they recognize.
Students will find 5 chemical compounds in the ingredient lists of 5 everyday products (processed foods like mac & cheese, canned soups, cereals; toiletries/cosmetics like shampoo, creams, toothpaste; cleaning products like shower spray, toilet cleaner, dish soap). Then, they will do research on the chemicals and create a table containing specific information about the properties, uses, and risks/benefits to humans and the environment.
A sample table using sodium chloride (NaCl) is provided in the project directions. After creating the table, there are two reflection questions that the students answer to summarize what they learned. My hope is that by researching the risks and benefits to human health, my students will consider what chemicals are in the products that they eat and use on their bodies.
In order to keep everyone honest, I have students either cut/peel the ingredient label from the products, or take a picture of them to attach to their table or to share with me in a Google doc.
The grading rubric is included. There is also an editable version of the students directions in case you want to use this digitally (via Google Classroom for example). You could also structure this as a partner project, and/or have students present what they learned to the class by putting their table into a Powerpoint.
You may also be interested in the Ionic Compound Cubes Practice Activity
to review formula writing and naming.
Thanks for looking!