MYP 10

10.1.3: The reactions between metals and dilute acids

E-assessement - B1: Periodic Table:

  • metals (and non-metals)
  • transition metals
  • Redox reactions
  • reactivity series
  • extraction of metals, and corrosion
  • electrochemical cells


  • To understand that the reaction of metals with water is due to the presence of hydrogen ions.
  • To know that water dissociated to produce hydrogen ions
  • To know that the behaviour of acids is due to dissociated hydrogen ions.
  • To introduce the concept of redox reactions


A discussion of the reason why water reacts with metals.

The dissociation of water leads to the water having a low concentration of hydrogen ions that can accept electrons from the metal atoms, making metal ions. This is a redox reaction; transfer of electrons between species.

M(s) + 2H+(aq) M2+(aq) + H2(g)

The students are to carry out an experiment to investigate the reaction of several metals with dilute acids.

They are provided with:

  • Samples of magnesium, zinc, iron, copper, aluminium, lead
  • Sulfuric acid (1M), hydrochloric acid (2M) & nitric acid

There are several observations to be made

Student activity

Teacher lead design encouraging the students to observe the reactions of the six metals with the three acids using the hypothesis:

"Acids release more hydrogen ions than water, therefore they will react with metals more vigorously than water."

Experiment report: The students should address the following questions:

  • Is the hypothesis fully supported?
  • Do all of the acids behave in the same way?


Periodic table of videos

Lithium Sodium Potassium


Criteria B & C

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