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pH Scale Games & Activities

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.

Getting ready for your unit on acids and bases? These interactive, hands-on activities and games will help bring the pH scale to life for your middle or high school students.

Classroom pH Scale

Materials

  • 1 piece of green paper
  • 7 pieces of pink paper
  • 7 pieces of blue paper
  • Marker
  • Painter's tape
  • Laminated pictures of common objects (at least one per student). Some examples are:
    • Baking soda
    • Battery acid
    • Black coffee
    • Bleach
    • Drain cleaner
    • Milk
    • Ocean water
    • Orange juice
    • Red wine
    • Soda
    • Vinegar
    • Water
    • Window cleaner

Instructions

This activity is a great starter for a lesson on the pH scale. Depending on your students' abilities, it can be done on the very first day, or you can wait a few days to give your students more background.

Write the numbers 0-14 on the pieces of paper, one number per page, large enough that the numbers can be seen from across the room. Write numbers 0-6 on pink paper, 7 on green, and 8-14 on blue. Tape these numbers, in order, along one wall of your classroom. As students enter your room, hand them one of the laminated pictures and a piece of tape. Ask students to place the picture wherever they think it belongs on the pH scale.

Once all the pictures have been placed on the scale, ask the class if they think any changes should be made. Move the pictures according to the students' suggestions. As you proceed with the lesson for the day, continue to make corrections to the scale as needed. By the end of the class, all of the pictures should be in their appropriate positions. Leave the scale up for the remainder of the unit so students have a reference if they need it.

pH Cut and Paste

Materials

  • Copies of a pH scale that includes the concentration of H+ ions (one per student)
  • Copies of a list of common, recognizable items (one per student)
    • Ammonia
    • Baking soda
    • Battery acid
    • Bleach
    • Distilled water
    • Drain cleaner
    • Egg white
    • Lemon juice
    • Lemon-lime soda
    • Liquid soap
    • Milk
    • Rain water
    • Stomach acid
    • Vinegar
    • Window cleaner
  • Copies of clues (one per student)
  • Scissors
  • Glue

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