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Identify Group 1 Elements

Worksheet Overview

QUESTION 1 of 10

One of the amazing things about the periodic table is that it shows you patterns in the elements – for example, all the Group 1 metals react similarly when exposed to water. There are some very good reasons for these reactions, which is to do with how the electrons line up in the atoms. Here, we will be looking at the elements in Group 1 in the periodic table, and some of the fascinating properties that they have.

 

Group One elements in the periodic table are called the alkali metals. They are lithium, sodium, potassium, caesium and rubidium. Can you find them on a periodic table? They are called Group 1 elements because they all have just one electron in their outer shell. Take a look at their electron structure below: 

 

Electron structure of Group 1 in periodic table.

 

They all react vigorously with air and water, so they must be stored in oil to stop air or water getting to them – it could cause an explosion. 


Sodium is more reactive than lithium, and potassium is more reactive than sodium. You can tell this because potassium reacts extremely vigorously and quickly with water, whereas lithium reacts less quickly and vigorously.  As for caesium and rubidium - their reaction is.... explosive! So, you might have noticed by now that as you go down the periodic table, you are increasing the reactiveness of the elements.


“But why are they called the alkali metals?” I hear you cry from the rooftops. Well, fear not, the answer is here! Here is the general chemical equation -  what do you notice about the right-hand side?


metal + water  metal hydroxide + hydrogen

 

Well, any time something is called a hydroxide, it is an alkali – so when the Group 1 metals react with water, they form an alkali and hydrogen. Hence the term alkali metal.


So, if we were reacting lithium with water, it would look like this

 

lithium + water  lithium hydroxide + hydrogen.

 

And if we were to use potassium instead, it would look like this:

 

potassium + water  potassium hydroxide + hydrogen.

 

Get the picture?

 

There are other patterns that you need to remember as well – take a look at them:

 

Metal Softness Colour Reaction with oxygen Reaction with chlorine
Lithium (Li) Hard to cut with a knife. Grey colour, silver when cut. Makes Li2O (lithium oxide) Makes LiCl (lithium chloride)
Sodium (Na) Softer, easy to cut with a knife. White colour, silver when cut.  Makes Na2O (sodium oxide) Makes NaCl (sodium chloride)
Potassium (K) Very soft - can be squeezed in tweezers.  Grey, silver when cut. Makes K2O (potassium oxide) Makes KCl (potassium chloride)

 

Study the table above very carefully because you will need to know how the properties of these elements change. Are you ready to have a go at some questions now?

What is the other name for Group One elements?

Alkali metals

Halogens

Transition metals

Which is the least reactive alkali metal?

Potassium

Caesium

Lithium

Sodium

What are the products in the reaction of lithium and water?

Carbon dioxide

Hydrogen

Lithium

Lithium hydroxide

How many electrons are in the outer shell of a Group 1 element? 

1

2

3

4

Select the reactants of the reaction that produces lithium chloride.

Lithium

Potassium

Iodine

Chlorine

What is the correct symbol for sodium oxide? 

NaO

KO

Na2O

K2O

What is the correct symbol for potassium chloride? 

KO

KCl

K2Cl

Which of these alkali metals is the softest? 

Lithium

Potassium

Sodium

Complete this equation:

 

Potassium + water ___________ + hydrogen

Potassium oxide

Potassium hydroxide

Potassium chloride

Complete this equation:

 

K + H2_________ + _________

NaOH + H2

KOH + H

KOH2 + H2

  • Question 1

What is the other name for Group One elements?

CORRECT ANSWER
Alkali metals
EDDIE SAYS
Did you remember this one? Think back to the Introduction and the word equations that were written there. Group 1 elements are called alkali metals. They are called this because they make an alkali (such as potassium hydroxide) when they react with water.
  • Question 2

Which is the least reactive alkali metal?

CORRECT ANSWER
Lithium
EDDIE SAYS
Lithium is the least reactive alkali metal. Caesium is the most reactive metal. We know this because the ones at the top of the periodic table are less reactive and as we go down the group, the elements are more reactive.
  • Question 3

What are the products in the reaction of lithium and water?

CORRECT ANSWER
Hydrogen
Lithium hydroxide
EDDIE SAYS
There are always two products in these reactions - one is a metal hydroxide and the other is hydrogen. The two products of the reaction of lithium with water are hydrogen and lithium hydroxide. Remember the general equation of metal + water → metal hydroxide + hydrogen. Just replace the word metal with the Group 1 metal you are using!
  • Question 4

How many electrons are in the outer shell of a Group 1 element? 

CORRECT ANSWER
1
EDDIE SAYS
Group 1 elements are called Group 1 because they all have 1 electron in their outer shell. One electron - Group one. It's simple really!
  • Question 5

Select the reactants of the reaction that produces lithium chloride.

CORRECT ANSWER
Lithium
Chlorine
EDDIE SAYS
In order to get lithium chloride, there must be a reaction between lithium and chlorine. You can tell by the name of the product - a combination of lithium and chlorine.
  • Question 6

What is the correct symbol for sodium oxide? 

CORRECT ANSWER
Na2O
EDDIE SAYS
This one was a bit harder, wasn't it. Did you make the mistake of going for NaO? You won't be the only one! When reacting with oxygen, Group 1 elements always make a product that is metal, with a little 2. You will learn why when you look at ionic bonding.
  • Question 7

What is the correct symbol for potassium chloride? 

CORRECT ANSWER
KCl
EDDIE SAYS
When Group 1 elements react with chlorine, you will always get the metal symbol followed by Cl without any numbers. You will learn why this happens when you look at ionic bonding.
  • Question 8

Which of these alkali metals is the softest? 

CORRECT ANSWER
Potassium
EDDIE SAYS
If you hesitated with this one, it might be a good idea to have another look at the table in the Introduction, so you can learn how the properties change as you go down the group. As you go down the group, the metals become softer. Be careful though, I have put in a red herring here - they are not in the correct order!
  • Question 9

Complete this equation:

 

Potassium + water ___________ + hydrogen

CORRECT ANSWER
Potassium hydroxide
EDDIE SAYS
Remember the general equation: metal + water → metal hydroxide + hydrogen.
  • Question 10

Complete this equation:

 

K + H2_________ + _________

CORRECT ANSWER
KOH + H
EDDIE SAYS
That's right, you need to know the symbols as well! We are so mean, right? Hydroxide symbols are the metal plus the OH (hydrogen and oxygen or hydroxide). The other product is hydrogen - H. Well done for getting to the end of this activity - if you found some of it challenging, why not go back to the Introduction and study the diagram and the table carefully to learn more about the properties of these elements?
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