pH scale

pH scale

I can explain how the pH scale is organized and generally where certain acids an

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In this lesson, students will learn about the pH scale. They will complete an experiment where they test different liquids and place them on the pH scale. (Materials listed below.)



Learning objective

Students will be able to explain how the pH scale is organized and generally where certain acids and bases fall within that scale.


Students will review acids and bases. What are the differences? How are
they related?


The lesson will then look very generally at the pH scale, how it is oriented, where the acidic and basic portions are. The class will discuss some common substances and where they fall on the pH scale. Students will discuss the role of indicators and give some examples of several types of indicators. These indicators use color changes to indicate that the pH of a substance is changing.

Students will complete a quick experiment where they use pH indicators to determine the pH of substances. They will then discuss pH’s effect on the living environment through concepts like acid rain and pH of the blood.


Students will answer 9 discussion questions about the experiment.


Students will recall what they learned and complete an exit slip with these questions:
- What has more H+ ions: pH 2, pH 5, or pH 14?
- What pH is considered neutral?

Instruction materials

- lab safety equipment (including gloves)
- 10 cups
- pH testing strips (10 per group)
- pH-color key (usually on the bottle)
- Coca-Cola
- orange juice
- apple juice
- bleach
- baking soda (mixed into water)
- bottled water
- milk
- laundry detergent
- household cleaning product with ammonia
- vinegar

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