MnSCU Partnership > Teaching Activities > Acids and Bases

Acids and Bases

Jeff Bodwin, MN State University Moorhead
Kim Loomis, Century College
Dave Blackburn, Century College
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This acid and bases activity will follow the introductory lecture (20 min) on acids and bases and the relation to pH. Students will then be broken into small groups of 6 and given a list of five solutions to rank in order of most acidic to most basic. The instructor will be available to direct students as needed. Students will then present their ranking either on the board or using an audience response system.

Learning Goals

Students will: 1)understand the pertinent terms, 2) use the resources to do the task: textbook, class notes, eachother, and instructor, 3)successfully rank the solutions.
Instructor will get the feedback that mastery has been achieved for this concept.

Context for Use

This activity is designed for use in an introductory conceptual level chemistry lecture of 72 students. An audience response system with ranking capability will be needed.

Description and Teaching Materials

A list of solutions to be ranked most acidic to most basic. This can be hard copy, written on the board, or projected.

Teaching Notes and Tips

Anticipate 20 minutes of lecture, 15 minutes to disseminate list of solutions and have students compete and rank, 5 minutes to report results, 10 minutes to discuss results and modify.


Groups will turn in the original list ranked with all of the students names on it. If correct it will be worth some # of points to be added to the next exam.

References and Resources