So last year, I taught chemistry for the first semester of Integrated Science in grade 10. Big mistake. As it turned out, about 25% of the students were new to our school and did not have the benefit of the trimester of introductory chemistry in grade 9. Then you add in a good chunk of students who for whatever reason managed to avoid learning the difference between an atom and an ion in grade 9, much less how to balance an equation or predict products in a double displacement reaction. The problem was that out of the three trimesters of science, chemistry was the only one that relied heavily on prior knowledge from grade 9. Both biology and physics contained mostly stand alone topics. Needless to say, my students were all over the place. Also needless to say, we started with physics first this year :-)
Faced with only 12 weeks to get the entire class through molarity and stoichiometry, I was desperate. Then like a flash of lightning (the creative kind) it came to me. The perfect metaphor for doing molar conversions. If you are interested in how to use this strategy to solve problems involving molar conversions, check out the Mole Mountaineering lesson under Integrated Science Lessons.
Now for the shameless part. As with all great artists, creative inspiration begins with a sketch. We will call my sketch version 0.0002.