NGSS Chemistry


Curriculum Development

This curriculum was designed using a 5E model and follows the SFUSD Chemistry Scope and Sequence.  Using the guidance of the SFUSD Scope and Sequence, NGSS Chemistry includes both Physical and Earth and Space Science performance expectations integrated in a strategic way, so that students apply their knowledge of physical science concepts in the context of Earth and Space Science. The Earth and Space Science topics of stars and climate change are embedded into this NGSS Chemistry course alongside traditional chemistry concepts. 

The story of chemistry progresses from a microscopic to macroscopic understanding of the world around us. Starting with the atom and where elements come from, students progress to bonding, chemical reactions and the energy changes connected to reactions. In spring, student learning is contextualized by using different climate change phenomena to learn about energy balance, albedo, gases, rates of reaction, equilibrium, solutions and acids and bases. 

We developed this curriculum using the input and expertise of high school teachers across the district.  The curriculum was field tested in classrooms and revisions made using the feedback from students and teachers.  

Curriculum Access

For a quick introduction, you may want to look at the Chapter Organizer.  You can also see the student edition ( If you are an educator, please go to this form to request access to supporting documents. 

Chemistry and Climate Change

Climate change is an ongoing crisis that will only worsen as today’s students become adults and decision makers of the future. The spring semester of chemistry intertwines chemistry concepts and understanding the science behind and impacts of climate change.  In each of the 4 spring units, there is a project designed to support students to consider climate change beyond their classroom and how to effect change in their local community and the wider world.

Word wall about Climate Change

© Milleflore Images/

In order to make these projects accessible to more teachers, we have modified them to be independent projects that do not require chemistry knowledge.  

Chemistry Honors

SFUSD Chemistry Honors teachers worked together to determine what additions and extensions could be made to the existing NGSS curriculum.  They selected multiple topics and then determined where extensions would work best.  The table below describes their suggestions.  We are not able to provide any additional information to create an Honors Chemistry course. 



How to meld with existing Chapter


Metric System/Conversions 

After students have learned about the equation for density they can focus more on the metric system 


Sig Figs/Measurement 

As part of their measurements in the first Explain, this could be interwoven. Emphasize techniques and how they affect significant figures


Bohr/electron configurations

After students experience spectroscopy and do the Explain, this would fit best



After Explain, can connect equation for half-life to kinetics and rate


Chemical Nomenclature 

After Elaborate, students can predict ionic formulas which is needed for nomenclature


Hess’ Law 

After 2nd Explore/Explain (Bond Energy), so that students can use bond energies to connect to energy of reactions


Gas Laws

After Elaborate, so that students can connect concentration of gases in atmosphere to gas laws


Stoichiometry with Limiting Reagent

After Elaborate, so that students can predict the amount of product formed by determining the limiting reagent



After 2nd Explore/Explain, so that students are familiar with Le Chatelier’s Principle



After Elaborate, so that students are familiar with both rate and catalysts


pH calculation/Titration 

After the Explain students will have a basic understanding of pH


Spring Cumulative Assessment: Carbon Cycle Review (Pre-existing activity in Chapter 17)

This existing activity asks students to review their learning from spring semester, a good cumulative project


This page was last updated on February 12, 2023