Combustion Lesson Plan

Instructor: Joanne Abramson

Joanne has taught middle school and high school science for more than ten years and has a master's degree in education.

Explosions help make chemistry exciting. This lesson plan uses a video lesson, hands-on activity, and a video demonstration to illustrate the reactants and products of a combustion reaction.

Lesson Objectives

By the end of this lesson, students will be able to:

  • Define the term 'combustion reaction'
  • Describe what occurs during a combustion reaction
  • Name the reactants and products of a combustion reaction


1-1.5 hours

Curriculum Standards


Follow precisely a complex multistep procedure when carrying out experiments, taking measurements, or performing technical tasks, attending to special cases or exceptions defined in the text.


Determine the meaning of symbols, key terms, and other domain-specific words and phrases as they are used in a specific scientific or technical context relevant to grades 9-10 texts and topics.


Compare and contrast findings presented in a text to those from other sources (including their own experiments), noting when the findings support or contradict previous explanations or accounts.


  • Online video showing the 'whoosh bottle' demonstration
  • 250 mL beakers
  • Candles (must be shorter in height than the beakers)
  • Matches or lighters
  • Foil pieces (large enough to cover the mouth of a 250 ml beaker)
  • Limewater (make 24 hours ahead of time)
    • 600 mL beakers
    • Calcium hydroxide (can be purchased online or at aquatic stores)
    • Distilled water
    • Stirring rod or spoon
    • Funnel
    • Coffee filter
  • Erlenmeyer flask
  • Straw



  • At least one day ahead of time, create a limewater solution. (Depending on the size of your class, you may need to prepare multiple beakers.)
    • Put 1/4 tsp of calcium hydroxide in a 600 mL beaker and fill it with distilled water. (Limewater is a saturated solution, so some of the calcium hydroxide will not dissolve.)
    • Stir for 1-2 minutes and then let the solution stand for 24 hours.
    • Line a funnel with a coffee filter and pour the solution through to filter it.
    • You may need to filter it more than once to get a clear solution.
    • Pour the solution into several beakers so that students can access it for their activity.

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