Lesson Plan

Separation of a Mixture


Grade Levels

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Big Ideas




In this lesson, students will have an opportunity to synthesize the previous lesson’s content in a practical lab setting. They will use their knowledge of physical properties and mixtures to separate a heterogeneous mixture. Students will:

  • differentiate between a pure substance and a mixture.

  • create a lab procedure that enables them to separate a suspension based on the physical properties of its components.

  • recognize that magnetism is a physical property of iron.

  • recognize that solubility in water (at a given temperature) is a physical property of sodium chloride.

  • recognize that sand does not dissolve in water, differentiating it from sodium chloride.

  • perform a separation lab, following proper instructions and safety protocol.

  • recognize that salt water is a solution and can be separated physically.

Essential Questions

Essential questions haven't been entered into the lesson plan.


  • Element: Pure substance consisting of one type of atom.

  • Compound: Pure substance consisting of two or more different atoms.

  • Mixture: Two or more different substances not chemically combined.

  • Colloid: A heterogeneous mixture that exhibits the Tyndall effect.

  • Magnetism: The force of attraction or repulsion between various substances, especially those made of iron and certain other metals; ultimately it is due to the motion of electric charges.

  • Suspension: A heterogeneous mixture that has particles large enough to settle out.

  • Solution: A homogenous mixture in which the particles are very small.

  • Homogeneous Mixture: A mixture with a uniform composition.

  • Heterogeneous Mixture: A mixture with a non-uniform composition.

  • Element Symbol: An abbreviation for an element’s name found on the periodic table.

  • Compound Formula: Represents the combination of two or more elements in fixed proportions. Subscripts designate the number of atoms of each element.


90 minutes/2 class periods

Prerequisite Skills


  • goggles

  • hot plate

  • tweezers

  • magnet

  • large tongs

  • oven mitt, hot pad, or protective glove

  • water

  • graduated cylinder (10-25 mL)

  • weigh boats (4)

  • 100 mL Erlenmeyer flask

  • funnel

  • filter paper

  • evaporating dish with mixture (75-150 grams)

  • glass stir rod

  • Separation of a Mixture–Student activity sheet (S-8-5-3_Separation of a Mixture Student.doc)

  • Separation of a Mixture–Teacher activity sheet (S-8-5-3_Separation of a Mixture Teacher.doc)

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