Demonstrating Group 1 Metals with Water

Objective: To observe the reactivity of Group 1 metals (alkali metals) with water.


  • Group 1 metals (sodium, potassium, lithium)
  • Distilled water
  • Beakers or test tubes
  • Tongs or forceps
  • Safety goggles
  • Laboratory coat or apron
  • Fire blanket and extinguisher (in case of fire)

Safety Information:

  • Group 1 metals are highly reactive with water, and can produce hydrogen gas and heat, which can lead to an explosion.
  • Always wear safety goggles and a laboratory coat or apron to protect yourself from any potential hazards.
  • Use tongs or forceps to handle the metals, as they can react violently with moisture on your hands.
  • Make sure there is no flammable material nearby, and keep a fire blanket and extinguisher within reach.
  • Always use an explosion screen and have students stand at least 2 metres away from the reaction site. Reaction can be also be carried out in a fume hood.


  • Introduce the class to the concept of alkali metals and their reactivity with water. Discuss the properties of alkali metals and why they react with water.
  • Set up the experiment by filling a beaker or test tube with distilled water.
  • Using tongs or forceps, carefully add a small piece of a Group 1 metal (sodium, potassium, or lithium) to the water.
  • Observe the reaction, noting any changes in the appearance of the metal or the water. The metal may fizz, release bubbles, or even catch fire.
  • Repeat the experiment with the other Group 1 metals.
  • Discuss the results of the experiment with the class. Ask questions such as: Which metal reacted the most violently? What happened to the water? What happened to the metal?
  • Recap the experiment by reviewing the properties of alkali metals and their reactivity with water. Emphasize the importance of proper safety precautions when handling these metals.


Students can be assessed through their observations and participation in the experiment, as well as their ability to answer questions about the properties of alkali metals and their reactions with water.


Students can research other reactions of alkali metals, such as their reactions with acids or oxygen, and report their findings to the class.






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