Section 2 : Acids, bases and salts

Theme: Making science practical

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this section, you will have:

  • organised students in small groups to carry out scientific investigations;
  • set up a ‘circus’ of short experiments (a laboratory parade) to illustrate neutralisation;
  • organised children into groups to collect data and present it appropriately.


Practical work is a really important part of being a scientist and can help students to learn. There a lots of different types of practical work including demonstrations; investigations in which students plan, carry-out and analyse their own experiment and experiments designed to help students learn specific skills or understand scientific ideas. Gaining first hand experience of materials, organisms and processes can increase understanding and assist retention of knowledge. Shared experiences and real objects may also be helpful for students who find English difficult. All practical work requires careful planning and some improvisation. In this unit the activities are all linked to the topic acids, bases and salts. They involve students taking part in an open-ended practical investigation, a circus of short experiments and a practical activity designed to illustrate theory in which they are required to make very careful observations. The activities should fit into your normal teaching. They describe ways of organising familiar experiments that put the students at the centre of their learning.

Resource 6: Common chemical formulas

1. Organising group work to make and evaluate an indicator