Landmark Lesson Plan: Development of Baking Powder
Subject Areas: Chemistry and History
The following inquiry-based student activities are designed for use in high school chemistry or history lesson planning. The video and handout will help students understand the chemistry and gain insight into the history featured in the development of baking powder.
This lesson plan is designed as a ready-to-go lesson plan, easily implemented by a chemistry teacher or his/her substitute, to supplement a unit of study. In chemistry, the activities relate to nomenclature, formula writing, reactions and organic functional groups; in history, the theme is the interdependence of science and industrialization.
- Teacher’s guide: Introduction, instructions, conversation starters and answer key
- Handout: “Development of Baking Powder” reading resource
- Reference materials: Map, names and charges of selected common ions, and selected molecules
- Video supplement: The History of Bread (an ACS National Historic Chemical Landmarks/Untamed Science video)
- Student activities: Includes the five activities described below
While these activities are thematically linked, each is designed to stand alone as an accompaniment for the video and handout on baking powder. Choose activities based on your curricular needs and time considerations.
- Mapping Activity: Where in the World Did Baking Powder Develop? Students identify the spread of ideas about chemistry in the 1800s and contextualize the global nature of the chemical industry. (20-30 min.)
- Practice in Chemistry: Ready, Set, Rise! Students identify chemical substances, name common ions and molecules; write balanced formulas, and interpret the chemical reaction in baking powder. (30-40 min.)
- Flow Chart Activity: Why Develop Baking Powder? Students identify the steps Horsford took to research, invent and market baking powder by completing a flow chart. (15-20 min.)
- Using Venn Diagrams: Comparing Inventions in Food Chemistry Students compare advances in chemistry using the development of Horsford’s baking powder, Liebig’s beef extract and Ikeda’s MSG. (15-20 min.)
- Exploring Acid Structures: Vinegar, Sour Milk and MSG Students examine structures of acetic acid, lactic acid and monosodium glutamate, and search for similarities and differences. (10-15 min.)