Lesson Plan: Primary Galvanic Cells Chemistry

This lesson plan includes the objectives, prerequisites, and exclusions of the lesson teaching students how to describe primary cells and explain how they produce electrical energy.


Students will be able to

  • explain how irreversible redox reactions inside primary cells generate electricity,
  • describe a mercury cell and the half-equations that generate a cell potential,
  • describe a hydrogen fuel cell and explain how it operates,
  • use the half-equations in a hydrogen fuel cell to calculate the cell potential,
  • list differences between traditional primary cells and fuel cells.


Students should already be familiar with

  • electrode potentials, half-cells, and the calculation of cell potentials,
  • oxidation and reduction,
  • common terms associated with electrolysis including cathode, anode, and electrolyte.


Students will not cover

  • rechargeable (secondary) cells,
  • other types of primary cells other than the mercury cell and hydrogen fuel cell.

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