MYP 10

Unit 10.1.7: The reactivity series

E-assessement - B1: Periodic Table

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


  • To understand that metals can be ordered in terms of reactivity based on the empirical evidence gathered in this unit.
  • To know that very reactive metals are good reducing agents and lose electrons easily

Class activity

Test mixtures of metals and metal ions to support prior emipical evidence. Metals can be added to solutions while monitoring the temperature over five minutes.

These could be test tube reactions using 10 ml of solution to a suitable excess of metal.

Extension would be to prepare solutions of a known molarity (1M) using their relative mass.

Suggested mixtures:

  • Magnesium and iron(II) sulfate solution
  • Magnesium and zinc sulfate solution
  • Magnesium and copper sulfate solution
  • Zinc and magnesium sulfate solution
  • Zinc and iron(II) sulfate solution
  • Zinc and nickel(II) sulfate solution
  • Zinc and copper sulfate solution
  • Iron and zinc sulfate solution
  • Iron and copper sulfate solution
  • Iron and nickel sulfate solution
  • Copper and zinc sulfate solution
  • Copper and iron(II) sulfate solution
  • Copper and nickel sulfate solution


Experimental report

Data processing: Criteria C

Teaching notes

The students could first be divided into groups to prepare enough stock solution to supply the whole class.

Solutions needed:

  • Magnesium sulfate
  • Zinc sulfate
  • Iron(II) sulfate
  • Copper(II) sulfate
  • Nickel(II) sulfate

10 ml of 1 mol dm-3 solution corresponds to 0.01 mol. All of the metals are divalent, so an excess corresponds to > 0.01 mol of metal.

  • Magnesium (Ar = 24) 0.01 mol = 0.24 g
  • Zinc (Ar = 65) 0.015 mol = 0.65 g
  • Iron (Ar = 56) 0.015 mol = 0.56 g
  • Copper (Ar = 64) 0.015 mol = 0.64 g

All approximate values.



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