Home School Life Journal From Preschool to High School

Home School Life Journal ........... Ceramics by Katie Bergenholtz
"Let us strive to make each moment beautiful."
Saint Francis DeSales

A Chemical Reaction

Take a few leaves of "red"cabbage and boil them in about 2 cups of water. When it comes to a good boil, turn it off and let it cool.Using a funnel fill a large balloon with baking soda (about 2 Tablespoons).
Put about 3/4 cup of white vinegar in an empty 2-liter bottle. Pour about 1/2 cup of the cooled "red" cabbage juice in the 2-liter bottle with the vinegar (leave the leaves out). The vinegar should change the color of the cabbage juice from purple to pink or red.

Slip the balloon's neck over the 2-liter's neck without dropping in the baking soda as much as you can.When you are ready, dump the baking soda into the bottle by lifting the balloon. 
The chemical reaction between the baking soda and the vinegar creates carbon dioxide and water. The carbon dioxide inflates the balloon and the neutralizing of the vinegar's acid changes the cabbage juice's color from pink back to purple...

and then to blue. The photo makes it look more purple than it did in real life.
The baking soda then turns the liquid to a base, and turns the cabbage juice to a blue color.
The anthocyanin in the cabbage makes it an acid/base indicator.


  1. Phyllis,
    Your school days are always so interesting and fun! The look on your boys faces says it all!
    I am going to use Apologia General Science next year for Kelly's 9th grade science - It looks tough but alot of great experiments...
    Best Wishes,

  2. Donna,
    That was one of my reasons for posting the General Science Experiments...to make the transition from Elementry Science to the next level seem less scary. The experiments are fun and easy. I left them until last and did the book work with him all year because we were doing so much hands-on experiments in another direction. If your student is having learning isssues or if you tend more toward the Unschooling or Charlotte Mason approach I would suggest to do the readings -just one section at a time- and then asking what she remembers from it, in other words a narration. She could make sketches, cartoons, a re-inactment, etc. instead of a written or oral narration. Don't get bogged down in doing it as "everyone else does" or the "way it is supposed to be done". You do what is best for your student.

  3. Anonymous21.2.10

    Stumbled upon you blog- my two boys ( also homeschooled) will love this fun experiment! Anyhow, when I was reading your 'about me' blurb I saw that you went to Washington College- Me too! and we both know that doesn't happen to often! Cheers! Sarah

  4. I am glad you stumbled upon us...and hope you will visit often. My husband and I both went to WC (I graduated in 1985 and he in 1987)and we currently live about 12 miles from it! It has grown a lot since those days. We had an average of 7 students per class in those days...when did you go there?

  5. Phyllis,
    Thanks for sharing this on my blog. This variation with the cabbage juice looks so interesting. We have to try this as well. The picture of the reaction between vinegar and baking soda is so vivid!


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