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Metals and Water

Placing a metal in to water may not sound like the most exciting of experiments to do in the lab, but in this worksheets students will explore metals which react aggressively with water.

'Metals and Water' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 3

Curriculum topic:  Chemistry: Chemical Reactions

Curriculum subtopic:  Types of Chemical Reactions

Difficulty level:  

down

Worksheet Overview

QUESTION 1 of 10

If you were asked the question, "what would happen if you placed a metal into water?" you would probably answer, "nothing" or "it would sink". 

Normally your answer would be correct, because most metals do not react with water and are quite dense so would sink, but as always in chemistry there are some exceptions to the rules - The Alkali Metals.

The alkali metals are found in group one of the periodic table (the pink column in the periodic table below). All the alkali metals are stored in oil or an unreactive gas such as argon to prevent them reacting with the moisture in the air.

 

 

They react very strongly with water to produce hydrogen gas and an alkali (metal hydroxide). This is shown in the equation below:

Alkali Metal + WaterMetal hydroxide + Hydrogen

 

This reaction is very vigorous and usually involves lots of smoke, flames and can even involve explosions. The metals become more reactive as you travel down group one, so we will start at the top of group one with Lithium.

 

Lithium 

Lithium is the least reactive alkali metal, but still reacts to produce lots of smoke and heat. This can be seen from the picture below:

 

 

Note how the lithium floats on top of the water because it has a low density.

 

Sodium 

Sodium is more reactive than lithium and will produce yellow flames when placed in water.

 

 

 

Potassium 

Potassium is the most reactive metal that is allowed in the school classroom. It is very reactive and burns with a lilac flame when placed in water. It may also cause an explosion of sparks, which is very spectacular!

 

 

Rubidium 

Rubidium is not allowed in the school lab because it explodes when placed in water. It sinks to the bottom slowly because it has a higher density than potassium and then explodes.

 

 

Caesium 

Caesium is again more reactive and will explode with a lot of force if placed in water.

 

 

Francium 

Finally, we have francium, which is very reactive and very rare. It is estimated that only 30g of francium exist on the planet, so I am afraid that you wont be able to see how it would react with water. 

 

The metals contained in group one of the Periodic Table are know as the........

halogens

noble gases

alkali metals

transition metals

Select the correct word from the options below to complete the sentence:

 

The density of the alkali metals __________ as you go down group one. 

increases

decreases

How are the alkali metals stored to ensure that they do not react with the moisture in the air?

in oil

in milk

in oxygen

in a freezer

Complete the equation by typing the name of the missing chemical into the text box below. 


sodium + water  sodium hydroxide + ______________

Complete the equation by typing the name of the missing chemical into the text box below. 

 

_____________ + water  potassium hydroxide + hydrogen

Complete the equation by typing the name of the missing chemical into the text box below.

 

lithium + water  _________  _____________ + hydrogen

Which of the following correctly shows the order of reactivity of the alkali metals from the most to the least reactive?

Lithium, Sodium, Potassium

Potassium, Lithium, Sodium

Sodium, Potassium, Lithium

Potassium, Sodium, Lithium

Which of the following correctly shows the order of reactivity of the alkali metals from the most to the least reactive?

Li, Na, K

Cs, Rb, K

Na, K, Li

Rb, Cs, K

Type the symbol of the alkali metal that reacts with water to produce a lilac flame.

Match the name of the alkali metals to their correct symbol.

Column A

Column B

Lithium
Na
Sodium
K
Potassium
Cs
Rubidium
Rb
Caesium
Li
  • Question 1

The metals contained in group one of the Periodic Table are know as the........

CORRECT ANSWER
alkali metals
EDDIE SAYS
Group 1 are the alkali metals. The Halogens are group 7, Noble Gases are group 8 or 0 and the transition metals are the large collection of metals in the middle of the Periodic Table.
  • Question 2

Select the correct word from the options below to complete the sentence:

 

The density of the alkali metals __________ as you go down group one. 

CORRECT ANSWER
increases
EDDIE SAYS
The density of the alkali metals increases as you go down group one. The reactivity of the metals with water also increases!
  • Question 3

How are the alkali metals stored to ensure that they do not react with the moisture in the air?

CORRECT ANSWER
in oil
EDDIE SAYS
Alkali metals are stored in oil to ensure that they don't react with the moisture in the air.
  • Question 4

Complete the equation by typing the name of the missing chemical into the text box below. 


sodium + water  sodium hydroxide + ______________

CORRECT ANSWER
hydrogen
EDDIE SAYS
Hydrogen gas is produced when the alkali metals react with water. Hydrogen gas is very flammable.
  • Question 5

Complete the equation by typing the name of the missing chemical into the text box below. 

 

_____________ + water  potassium hydroxide + hydrogen

CORRECT ANSWER
potassium
EDDIE SAYS
The potassium hydroxide gives the clue to the metal used in this reaction.
  • Question 6

Complete the equation by typing the name of the missing chemical into the text box below.

 

lithium + water  _________  _____________ + hydrogen

CORRECT ANSWER
lithium hydroxide
EDDIE SAYS
The alkali metals react with water to produce a metal hydroxide which are strongly alkaline, which is where the name Alkali Metals comes from.
  • Question 7

Which of the following correctly shows the order of reactivity of the alkali metals from the most to the least reactive?

CORRECT ANSWER
Potassium, Sodium, Lithium
EDDIE SAYS
The alkali metals become more reactive as you move down the group.
  • Question 8

Which of the following correctly shows the order of reactivity of the alkali metals from the most to the least reactive?

CORRECT ANSWER
Cs, Rb, K
EDDIE SAYS
The alkali metals become more reactive as you move down the group and it is important to learn the symbols of the alkali metals. the symbols for potassium and sodium come from their latin names.
  • Question 9

Type the symbol of the alkali metal that reacts with water to produce a lilac flame.

CORRECT ANSWER
K
EDDIE SAYS
Potassium produces a lilac flame when it reacts with water or when it is burned. It is used in fire works for this reason.
If you where marked incorrect but typed in a 'k', remember that all elements symbols start with a capital letter so a small 'k' is incorrect.
  • Question 10

Match the name of the alkali metals to their correct symbol.

CORRECT ANSWER

Column A

Column B

Lithium
Li
Sodium
Na
Potassium
K
Rubidium
Rb
Caesium
Cs
EDDIE SAYS
You may notice that the spelling of 'caesium' is a different spelling that you may see on other websites or books. This is because in America caesium is spelt as 'cesium'. There are several element names that are spelt differently in America.
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