The Types of Chemical Reactions Lab is a favorite for many teachers and students. Chemistry comes to life as students record observations. This virtual version by no means replaces the students physically conducting the reactions themselves but during these times this activity can be used to supplement the teaching of chemical reactions.
I found a version of this demonstration online a couple of years ago. I admit, when I first tried it with my class it was mostly for a crowd pleaser to demonstrate the activity series of metals, but I then became very intrigued by the processes occurring. The original source only referenced the “single replacement reaction” between Mg(s) and AgNO3(aq). Therefore, when I saw a grayish product (silver) I was not surprised. However, I was surprised by the white flash and the production of a white product, which were reminiscent of the classic combustion of magnesium demonstration. This led to some research and my conclusions that follow. Read through to the end and you will find a video of the demo.
I expect that most high school chemistry teachers assign some type of laboratory related to types of chemical reactions including synthesis, decomposition, single replacement and double replacement reactions. I have used several published versions, but I am sharing my modifications.