I don’t usually teach science, so am not quite sure how to state a known challenge of the students. I looked at the list of interactive simulations and picked a topic that I thought would be very useful in a classroom and build this short T-GEM lesson.

Topic: Solubility of Ionic Compounds

Generate – Create interest  in the topic by asking students open-ended questions to engage their thinking and learn more about how much the students already know about this topic.

  • What does soluble mean? Insoluble?
  • What are some things that are soluble/insoluble?

Evaluate – Learn from simulations, have students predict the solubility of elements from the periodic table, then have them try out the different combinations of elements on interactive simulation.


Salt and Solubility

I would even try bringing in some simple items found in the kitchen to have students test out solubility though hands-on research experiments.  Learn about how temperatures can affect solubility as well.

Modify – After trying elements out in the simulation, I would suggest that the students bring in safe items from home to test out their solubility, and experiment on how they can change the solubility if possible based on what they’ve learned.



Khan, S. (2007). Model-based inquiries in chemistryScience Education, 91(6), 877-905.

Khan, S. (2011). New Pedagogies on Teaching Science with Computer Simulations. Journal of Science Education and Technology, 20(3), 215-232. Retrieved from



  1. In the Khan article, the teacher always starts by giving some general background information so that the students can understand and use the simulations. Do you think this is a necessary step? If so, what would your background information be for this particular T-GEM activity?

    1. Hi Momoe,

      I think giving some general background information, or at least gathering an idea of what everyone’s background information is for the topic is important. So I think it’s a necessary part. I think it’s better to get an idea of what each student knows, and give some general background for concept connection prior to the full lesson, than treat the students like their are all first timers for a topics that are common because then other class management problems may arise from uninterested students, or bored students.

      So for me, I would probably look at listing out some examples of common solubility reactions that students see but don’t know how to explain, this would depend on the grades of the students though. Older students with more complex examples, and younger ones with more common like flavours in food.

      Do you have another suggestion you can recommend to me?

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