This is a collection of 6 short and engaging non-fiction readings. Each half-page article includes 3 to 4 reading comprehension or opinion questions. Keys and a bibliography are also provided.
Story 1: A Dark and Stormy Night (solutions, acid/ base chemistry, ions, types of reactions)
- On a dark and stormy night, a flock of migrating geese landed on Lake Berkeley, Montana. By morning, they were dead. What’s wrong with the water in this lake?
Story 2: Too Hot to Handle (fossil fuels, energy, heat)
- A coal fire under the Pennsylvania town of Centralia has been burning for 50 years. It will likely burn for 250 more. Why hasn’t it been put out?
Story 3: Bubble, Bubble, Toil and Trouble (solubility of gases, density)
- One summer evening, Lake Nyos in Cameroon “exploded”. The cloud of carbon dioxide it released suffocated everyone nearby. Could it happen again?
Story 4: Killer Cell Phones and the Elements of War (properties of elements)
- The Democratic Republic of Congo has been at war for two decades. Are cell phones partially to blame?
Story 5: Fossilized Fission (fission, isotopes, oxidation/ reduction)
- The first man-made nuclear reactor was tested in 1942. Is it possible that a natural nuclear reactor was working 1.7 billion years earlier?
Story 6: Sea of Glass (structure of solids, heat)
- Libyan Desert Glass is an yellow-green glass found only in the Sahara Desert. Where did it come from?
* "A Dark and Stormy Night" and "Bubble, Bubble, Toil and Trouble" are also included in "Chemistry Case Files – A Problem-Based Solutions Unit for Chemistry"
The Wasp Whisperer