Worksheet: Reactions of Alkali Metals

In this worksheet, we will practice writing equations for the reactions of alkali metals with oxygen and water and explain trends in reactivity.


Freshly cut lithium tarnishes in air in under a minute. With which substance is lithium reacting when it tarnishes?

  • A Argon
  • B Nitrogen
  • C Carbon dioxide
  • D Oxygen
  • EWater


Why are the alkali metals lithium, sodium, and potassium stored under oil?

  • A They are sensitive to ultraviolet light, which the oil blocks.
  • B They react with the oil to form a protective coat.
  • C They react with nitrogen in the air.
  • D They oxidize if exposed to air.
  • E They are unstable if not in contact with oil.


What is the molecular formula of the compound produced when lithium reacts with oxygen gas?

  • A L i O 2
  • B L i O
  • C L i O 2 3
  • D L i O 2
  • E L i O 3

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