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Summer Reading Assignment

Index  Notes  Labs  Web Quests  Assignments  Quizzes  Links  Student Work


Over the summer, you will be required to read Chapters 1-4. For each chapter, you are to define the given vocabulary and answer the questions given on a separate sheet of paper. The assignment will be due the first day of school and will count as four daily grades. You will have your first quiz on the second day of school on the vocabulary from Chapter 1. The second quiz will cover vocabulary from Chapter 2 and dates will be announced in class and on the internet. We will be reviewing the material before you are tested on it. If you have any questions over the summer, please feel free to email me at home at I will check this email once a week for sure but I will get back to you as soon as possible. You can also find the assignment online using the following websites. – This website contains the assignments and links to all other websites you will be using throughout the summer. This one can be accessed from any computer including the library. – This website contains everything you will need for the class. Be sure to check it out closer to the start of the new school year so you can get a head start on the assignments in the class. Another helpful tool from this website is the notes. Each chapter’s notes have been typed and placed on the web for you to print so you can study them before the discussion begins in class. Please take the time to use these tools to your advantage. 

The last thing to let you know about is your activity in the science fair. Over the summer, begin looking at possible research projects. Find something that interests you and make notes of it so that when we begin discussions next year, you will be able to participate. 

Good luck on your assignments! See you in August. 

Chapter 2 Objectives

 1.      Define element and compound.

2.      State four elements essential to life that make up 96% of living matter.

3.      Describe the structure of an atom.

4.      Define and distinguish among atomic number, mass number, atomic weight and valence.

5.      Given the atomic number and mass number of an atom, determine the number of neutrons.

6.       Explain why radioisotopes are important to biologists.

7.      Explain how electron configuration influences the chemical behavior of an atom.

8.      Explain the octet rule and predict how many bonds an atom might form.

9.      Explain why the noble gases are so unreactive.

10. Define electronegativity and explain how it influences the formation of chemical bonds.

11. Distinguish among nonpolar covalent, polar covalent and ionic bonds.

12. Describe the formation of a hydrogen bond and explain how if differs from a covalent or ionic bond.

13. Explain why weak bonds are important to living organisms.

14. Describe how the relative concentrations of reactants and products affect a chemical reaction.

15. Describe the chemical conditions on early Earth and explain how they were different from today.


Atomic weight

Valence electron

Polar covalent bond



Valence shell


Trace element

Radioactive isotope

Chemical bond




Covalent bond



Potential energy


Ionic bond


Energy level

Structural formula

Hydrogen bond


Energy level

Molecular formula

Chemical reactions

Atomic nucleus

Electron shell

Double covalent bond






Atomic number


Chemical equilibrium

Mass number

Nonpolar covalent bond




 Chapter 3 Objectives

1.      Describe how water contributes to the fitness of the environment to support life.

2.      Describe the structure and geometry of a water molecule, and explain what properties emerge as a result of this structure.

3.      Explain the relationship between the polar nature of water and its ability to form hydrogen bonds.

4.      List five characteristics of water that are emergent properties resulting from hydrogen bonding.

5.      Describe the biological significance of the cohesiveness of water.

6.      Distinguish between heat and temperature.

7.      Explain how water’s high specific heat, high heat of vaporization and expansion upon freezing affect both aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems.

8.      Explain how the polarity of the water molecules makes it a versatile solvent.

9.      Define molarity and list some advantages of measuring substances in moles.

10. Write the equation for the dissociation of water, and explain what is actually transferred from one molecule to another.

11. Explain the basis for the pH scale.

12. Explain how acids and bases directly or indirectly affect the hydrogen ion concentration of a solution.

13. Using the bicarbonate buffer system as an example, explain how buffers work.

14. Describe the causes of acid precipitation, and explain how it adversely affects the fitness of the environment.

Polar molecule

Celsius scale


Hydrogen ion







Aqueous solution

Hydroxide ion

Surface tension




Kinetic energy

Specific heat




Evaporative cooling


pH scale



Molecular weight


Acid precipitation




 Chapter 4 Objectives

1.  Summarize the philosophies of vitalism and mechanism, and explain how they influenced the development of organic chemistry, as well as mainstream biological thought.

2.       Explain how carbon’s electron configuration determines the kinds and number of bonds carbon will form.

3.       Describe how carbon skeletons may vary, and explain how this variation contributes to the diversity and complexity of organic molecules.

4.      Distinguish among the three types of isomers: structural, geometric and enantiomers.

5.  Draw the major functional groups, and describe the chemical properties of organic molecules in which they occur.