Unit F: Simple Chemical Reactions

Unit F: Simple Chemical Reactions

Lesson F1: Changing materials

Main activities

F1a Seeing chemical reactions

For each group:

  • a few matches and a box for striking with a heatproof mat, labelled A
  • a test tube rack containing the following in separate test tubes and labelled

with the contents and the letter:

B hydrochloric acid and calcium carbonate

C nitric acid with universal indicator and sodium hydroxide solution

D zinc (with a bung in the tube) and copper sulphate solution

E lead nitrate and potassium iodide

F dilute sulphuric acid and magnesium

Lesson F2: Acids and metals

Main activities

F2a Reaction of magnesium and hydrochloric acid

For each group:

  • a test tube and rack
  • a bung
  • a few cm3 of dilute hydrochloric acid
  • 1–2 cm of magnesium ribbon
  • a splint
  • access to a Bunsen burner flame (or matches to light the splint)

F2b Reacting metals with acids

For each group:

  • several metals, e.g. magnesium, zinc, copper, nickel, lead
  • five test tubes with bungs in a rack
  • splints

Lesson F3: Acids and carbonates

Starter activities

Capture interest (1)

  • a bottle of carbonated drink

Main activities

F3a Reaction of calcium carbonate with hydrochloric acid

For each group:

  • two test tubes in a rack
  • a bung fitted with a delivery tube
  • calcium carbonate powder (one spatula measure)
  • a few cm3 of dilute hydrochloric acid
  • a few cm3 of limewater
  • a spatula

Lesson F4: Firefighting

Starter activities

Problem solving

  • ‘flammable’ hazard symbol

Main activities

F4a Burning and energy

For the class (optional hydrogen demonstration):

  • a balloon
  • a hydrogen cylinder
  • a clamp and stand
  • string or thread
  • three safety screens
  • a taper
  • a metal rod, e.g. from a retort stand
  • a means of lighting the taper
  • the class (optional magnesium demonstration):
  • a Bunsen burner
  • a heatproof mat
  • tongs
  • blue glass (for each pupil)
  • magnesium ribbon

F4b Putting fires out

For each group:

  • approximately 20 wooden splints (these could be provided ready broken in half

for the pupils)

  • three pieces of newspaper, approximately A4 size
  • three heatproof mats and/or tin lids
  • a stopclock
  • a 250 cm3 beaker containing approximately 100 cm3 of sand
  • a wash bottle of water
  • a measuring cylinder (to measure 50 cm3)
  • a delivery tube with jet inserted in rubber bung to fit the flask, as shown in the


  • a spatula
  • sodium hydrogencarbonate
  • dilute hydrochloric acid
  • an ignition tube
  • washing-up liquid

F4c Burning candles

For the class:

  • a bell jar
  • a trough of water
  • a candle on a small Petri dish such that the candle will float on the water inside

the bell jar

F4def How much air does a candle need?

For each group (Equipment should be set out so that pupils can choose what they

  • need for themselves, the exact requirements depending on pupils’ plans.):
  • a large trough or washing-up bowl
  • five containers of various sizes, e.g. beakers, jam jars, coffee jars
  • candles on small Petri dishes or floating candles (tea lights float quite well on their own)
  • measuring cylinders (various sizes)
  • a marker pen (suitable for marking glass).

Lesson F5: Burning changes

Main activities

F5a Making oxides

For each group:

  • a Bunsen burner
  • a heatproof mat
  • tongs
  • blue glass (for each pupil)
  • magnesium ribbon (1–2 cm)
  • steel wool (a walnut-sized piece)
  • copper foil (1–2 cm2)

Lesson F6: Getting hotter

Starter activities

Concrete preparation (2)

  • magazine and newspaper articles about

global warming

Main activities

F6a Burning fossil fuels

For the class:

  • a micro-burner or Bunsen burner
  • a heatproof mat
  • two retort stands with clamps
  • glassware and connections as shown in the diagram
  • dry cobalt chloride paper
  • limewater
  • water suction pump


This list is in Microsoft Word, so it can be customised to fit each school’s requirements.