Lesson Plan: Properties of Nitric Acid Chemistry

This lesson plan includes the objectives, prerequisites, and exclusions of the lesson teaching students how to describe the physical and chemical properties and uses of nitric acid.


Students will be able to

  • explain the physical properties of nitric acid,
  • explain the chemical properties of nitric acid, for example, its thermal decomposition and its role as an oxidizing agent,
  • describe the preparation of nitric acid from nitrate salts and acid,
  • describe the reactions of nitric acid with metals and predict whether a reaction will occur and what products are formed,
  • describe the test for the nitrate ion and distinguish between the nitrate and nitrite anion,
  • give examples and describe the industrial and commercial uses of nitric acid.


Students should already be familiar with

  • acidity and basicity,
  • redox reactions.


Students will not cover

  • alternative syntheses of nitric acid,
  • organic reactions using nitric acid.

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