Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Density of a Gas

Jeri Martin


Gas, like all matter, has mass and volume, therefore, it has a density. Students will investigate the mass, volume, and density of a gas by producing it in a chemical reaction.


The student determines the physical properties of matter that can be observed without altering the substance (for example, mass, volume, boiling point, density).

The student determines the relationship between mass and volume of an assortment of common substances.

The student uses appropriate procedures for safety in the classroom, home, and community.


(Per student)
-Safety goggles
-Paper towels (5)
(Per group of 2 students)
-Balance (triple beam or electronic)
-Seltzer tablets (2)
-Thick walled glass bottle with a tight fitting cap (12 oz. or 375 mL glass bottle and cap)
-1000 mL beaker (1)
-250 mL beaker (1)
-Pitcher (2 qt/2.4 L)
-Bucket (13 15 quarts/13.78 15.9 L)
-Tubing (aquarium 1.5 m)
-Rubber stopper (1 #2 one hole)
-Permanent marker (Sharpie)
-Jar (quart size/32 oz. 1.06 quarts = 1 liter)


1. Make copies of the K W L chart, Laboratory Rubric, and Density of a Gas Lab. (See Associated File.)
2. Prepare equipment for lab activity.
(A) Pitcher I use pitchers to save time. The pitcher is filled half-way with water. This is the water supply for procedure #1 on the lab and/or if extra water is needed for the bucket when they do procedure #7.
(B) One end of the tubing needs to be attached to the one hole stopper.
(C) Fill the bucket of the way with water.
3. Gather materials
4. Checklist of items you may need to purchase:
_____ seltzer tablets (alka seltzer or generic brand)
_____ paper towels
_____ permanent markers
_____ tubing (aquarium)


1. Give students a copy of the Laboratory Rubric. This diagnostic tool will help identify the students' prior knowledge, as well as give the teacher information about individual needs. Discuss the rubric with the students explaining that even though this lesson is concerned with mass, volume, and density, safety procedures and proper use of lab equipment is expected. (See Associated File.)

2. Give students a copy of the K W L chart for Mass, Volume, and Density. (See Associated File.)

3. Discuss with students the K (what do you know) and W (what do you want to know) from the chart.

4. The L (what did you learn) will be completed at the end of this activity.

5. Students complete the Activity Sheet: Density of a Gas Lab and turn in. (See Associated File.)

6. Have students complete the L section of their K W L chart and turn in.

7. Evaluate activity sheet and KWL chart.


The Laboratory rubric is marked as students go through the lab. The K W L chart and Density of a Gas Lab will be collected. The entire Density of a Gas Lab and L section of the K W L chart will be formatively assessed.


1. Repeat the lab, but this time record how long it takes to collect the gas. Also, try collecting mass, volume, and density numbers and graphing class results.
2. The procedures could be modified to allow it to be used as a cooperative group activity for ESE/ESOL students or if there are not enough supplies for two students to have a setup.

Web Links

Web supplement for Density of A Gas
Density Calculations

Web supplement for Density of A Gas
Air Density

Attached Files

Attached documents.     File Extension: pdf

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