Essential Questions E-Portfolios
Throughout my time as an online student, electronic portfolios have been one of the most educationally beneficial aspects that has driven me to constantly re-evaluate my learning. These portfolios begin with a seemingly simply posed question and it is the student’s responsibility to incorporate their knowledge to best answer/fulfill the question. The learning outcomes that I designed in this portfolio stemmed from the essential questions. Ultimately it is these essential questions that I want students to be able to understand. To this end, I will have students create an “Essential Portfolio”. This portfolio will contain the student’s evidences that they truly understand the answers to the essential questions.
Essential Portfolio Instructions
Create an electronic portfolio that we will be updating throughout the semester. You can use any online portfolio system or blogging service that you wish, but here are some options:
Once you have decided where to location your online portfolio, please provide me with the URL so that I can share it with the class. Please respond to the following prompts in your portfolio.
Essential Question 1: Why do we know that atoms are the fundamental building blocks of nature?
Student Prompt: Now that you have thought through the following outcomes it is time to think about the big picture.
- Explain how the Law of Definite Proportion (which deals with mass ratios) implies atom ratios.
- Compare the Law of Definite Proportion to the Law of Multiple Proportions paying close attention what they imply about the atom.
- Describe how the Law of Definite Proportion, Law of Multiple Proportions, and Avogadro’s Hypothesis were melded into Dalton’s Atomic Theory.
- Rewrite Dalton’s Atomic Theory to accurately account for our modern understanding of the properties of atoms.
Using everything you have learned, make a case FOR the existence of atoms as the smallest building blocks of matter. You can make your case in text, visual, audio/visual, etc. Things to keep in mind: how strong is your case? how could you make a stronger case?
Essential Question 2: What are the ways in which atoms interact with other atoms to create the chemical diversity we observe?
Student Prompt: Now that you have thought through the following outcomes it is time to think bigger.
- List the basic chemical and physical properties of ionic and covalent compounds.
- Compare the chemical properties of ionic compounds with covalent compounds.
- Plan a series of chemical tests that would allow you to distinguish ionic compounds from covalent compounds.
Using everything you have learned about these two kinds of compounds, provide an argument FOR why carbon is the sole building block of life. You can make your argument in text, visual, audio/visual, etc. Things to keep in mind: how strong is your case? how could you make a stronger case?