April/May 2015 Teacher's Guide for Smartphones, Smart Chemistry Table of Contents

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Anticipation Guide

Anticipation guides help engage students by activating prior knowledge and stimulating student interest before reading. If class time permits, discuss students’ responses to each statement before reading each article. As they read, students should look for evidence supporting or refuting their initial responses.
Directions: Before reading, in the first column, write “A” or “D,” indicating your agreement or disagreement with each statement. As you read, compare your opinions with information from the article. In the space under each statement, cite information from the article that supports or refutes your original ideas.




  1. A low-end smartphone has more computing power than what was available to NASA in the 1960s.

  1. Eighty-four percent of the nonradioactive elements found on the periodic table are found in smartphones.

  1. All smartphones use the same rare-earth metals.

  1. Rare-earth metals are responsible for the bright colors on the screen as well as the vibration of smartphones.

  1. Rare-earth elements are easy to find in nature.

  1. Glass and ceramics are both amorphous (not crystalline).

  1. The glass-ceramic used in a smartphone’s display s strengthened by adding potassium ions.

  1. The touchscreens in ATMs and smartphones are basically the same.

  1. When you use a touchscreen, a small amount of electrical current enters your finger.

  1. People take more pictures when their smartphones than with their stand-alone cameras.

Reading Strategies

These graphic organizers are provided to help students locate and analyze information from the articles. Student understanding will be enhanced when they explore and evaluate the information themselves, with input from the teacher if students are struggling. Encourage students to use their own words and avoid copying entire sentences from the articles. The use of bullets helps them do this. If you use these reading and writing strategies to evaluate student performance, you may want to develop a grading rubric such as the one below.






Complete; details provided; demonstrates deep understanding.



Complete; few details provided; demonstrates some understanding.



Incomplete; few details provided; some misconceptions evident.



Very incomplete; no details provided; many misconceptions evident.


Not acceptable

So incomplete that no judgment can be made about student understanding

Teaching Strategies:

  1. Links to Common Core Standards for Reading:

    1. ELA-Literacy.RST.9-10.5: Analyze the structure of the relationships among concepts in a text, including relationships among key terms (e.g., force, friction, reaction force, energy).

    2. ELA-Literacy.RST.11-12.4: Determine the meaning of symbols, key terms, and other domain-specific words and phrases as they are used in a specific scientific or technical context relevant to grades 11-12 texts and topics.

  1. Links to Common Core Standards for Writing:

    1. ELA-Literacy.WHST.9-10.2F: Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the information or explanation presented (e.g., articulating implications or the significance of the topic).

    2. ELA-Literacy.WHST.11-12.1E: Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from or supports the argument presented.

  1. Vocabulary and concepts that are reinforced in this issue: Chirality; Enantiomer; Amino acid; Protein; Enzyme; and Organic molecular structures.

  1. To help students engage with the text, ask students which article engaged them most and why, or what questions they still have about the articles. The Background Information in the ChemMatters Teachers Guide has suggestions for further research and activities.

Directions: As you read the article, complete the graphic organizer below to describe the chemistry in smartphones.


Examples and chemical elements involved

Why they are used in smartphones

Rare earth metals


Resistive touchscreen

Capacitive touchscreen

  • What idea(s) do you have for improving smartphones in the future?

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