Lesson Plan

Using Chemical Change to Identify an Unknown

If you discover an unknown powder, how do you determine if it is safe? Lesson uses four different tests to identify the properties of various powders that appear the same. Then scholars get an unknown powder and have to determine which it is. Finally, a demonstration shows how to identify acids and bases. 

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CCSS: Designed
NGSS: Designed
Additional Tags
Instructional Ideas
  • Instead of giving each group the same unknown substance, give each group a different one to test
Classroom Considerations
  • Follow all safety instructions and warnings on the label when using the tincture of iodine
  • Depending on the number of participants, you may need to double the portions of each substance
  • Lesson is the sixth in a series of 12
  • Designed with a 5E format
  • Offers discussion questions and answers to keep the lesson on track
  • Includes an expected results chart for the experiment
  • None