My favourite demo for the chapter on acid and alkali is…
red cabbage indicator
Add a pieces few leaves of red cabbage into a beaker of hot water. The leaves will decolourise and the solution will eventually turn purple. We will use this solution as the indicator. Add 2 drops into different samples and observe for colour change.
Colourful results from red cabbage indicator
Here’s my colourful result using these samples (from yellow, clockwise)
Lye water, bicarbonate of soda, sprite, detergent, lemon
Best used with samples that are colourless.
You can encourage students’ participation by allowing them to bring their own samples. Students generally are more excited to work on stuff that they contributed.
You can also extend this activity by giving them time to make their own indicator paper which they can bring home. Simply cut strips of filter paper, soak it in red cabbage juice and let it air dry. Students can then use them by dipping it into samples.