Worksheets and lesson ideas to challenge students aged 11 to 16 to think hard about redox (GCSE and Key Stage 3)
There are some great demonstrations that can be used to help students understand reduction and oxidation reactions. The thermite reaction is a particularly good demonstration that can be done in school. It serves as an excellent introduction to the use of redox to extract metals from their oxides through displacement. The clip below shows how the thermite reaction can be safely demonstrated in the lab.
Modelling electron transfer
Students need to understand that redox requires simultaneous loss and gain of electrons. A very simple but powerful way to teach this is to throw a tennis ball around the classroom to model electron transfer. When a student throws the ‘electron’ they become oxidised. The student who catches the ‘electron’ becomes reduced. Oxidation cannot happen without reduction. This allows students to also understand the concepts of oxidising agent and reducing agent.