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Practical Work for Learning. Magnesium and carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide fire extinguishers. Why do some fire extinguishers contain carbon dioxide?. Learning Outcomes. use your knowledge of the reactivity series and the fire triangle to make predictions about the outcome of reactions

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Practical work for learning

Practical Work for Learning

Magnesium and carbon dioxide

Magnesium and carbon dioxide

Carbon dioxide fire extinguishers

Why do some fire extinguishers contain carbon dioxide?

Magnesium and carbon dioxide

Learning Outcomes

  • use your knowledge of the reactivity series and the fire triangle to make predictions about the outcome of reactions

  • give an explanation for what happens when burning magnesium is added to carbon dioxide

  • consider and evaluate other peoples’ arguments.

Magnesium and carbon dioxide


  • What will happen to a piece of magnesium that is placed into a Bunsen flame, removed, and held in the air?

Magnesium and carbon dioxide

Burning magnesium in carbon dioxide

  • What will happen when burning magnesium is placed in carbon dioxide?

Making a prediction
Making a prediction

Divide the cards into:

  • evidence suggesting that the magnesium will continue to burn

  • evidence suggesting that the magnesium will go out

  • cards supporting neither argument.

Making a prediction1
Making a prediction

  • Using the evidence on the cards – and any additional knowledge you have – decide what you think is going to happen.

Making a strong argument
Making a strong argument

  • Select 2 or 3 cards which provide the strongest argument for your prediction.

    Explain why they support your prediction.

  • Select 2 or 3 cards which provide the strongest evidence for the opposing prediction.

    For each of these explain how your prediction can still be valid.

Making a strong argument1
Making a strong argument

  • Write your prediction on a mini white-board and be prepared to share your arguments with the class.

Making a strong argument2
Making a strong argument

  • Check your argument against these criteria.

    • Is the claim clear?

    • Is the claim linked to the evidence?

    • Does the evidence support the claim?

    • How could the argument be improved?

Magnesium and carbon dioxide


  • Write an explanation for what you saw.

  • You should include:

    • A chemical equation

    • What the black specks on the gas jar were

  • Select the evidence cards which best support your explanation.

    Extension: Choose an evidence card which does not support your explanation. Explain how your explanation can still be valid.

Magnesium and carbon dioxide

Some burning sodium is put into a gas jar of carbon dioxide. Alice and Barney predict what will happen.

Who do you agree with?

In your answer, give evidence to support the prediction you agree with and evidence against the prediction you disagree with.

  • The fire will go out because there is no oxygen present.


  • The sodium will burn in the carbon dioxide because sodium is a very reactive metal.


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