Separating mixtures: techniques teaching resources

Worksheets and lesson ideas to challenge students aged 11 to 16 to think hard about separating mixtures (GCSE and Key Stage 3)

The worksheets and ideas  on separating techniques (chromatography, distillation, filtration and crystallisation) provide an ideal opportunity to challenge students with practical work. The relatively safe nature of the practical work means students can be set challenges to separate X from Y with the ‘off you go approach‘ which they find incredibly motivating, providing they have the prior knowledge to be successful. 



The separating technique challenge!Selecting the appropriate separating technique

GCSE activity where students select the appropriate separating technique. Students select the appropriate technique to separate mixtures by chromatography, distillation, fractional distillation, filtration and crystallisation. It finishes with a really challenging question that asks students to suggest ideas on how to separate copper from a mixture containing magnesium, salt, water and copper. (PDF)


The separation challenge!

  1. Key Stage 3 practical challenge to separate a mixtures.
  2. Accompanying help sheet on chromatography

Students are given a range of practical equipment and work in pairs to separate a complex mixture containing sand, sulfur, two food dyes and iron. This activity was made in collaboration with Claire Couves and Rownok Jahan.

  1. Filtration and crystallisation
  2. Distillation
  3. Chromatography

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