Witches' Potion Demonstration

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In this chemistry demonstration, learners will discover that phenolphthalein is an acid/base indicator. One learner will read a poem about four witches making a potion. Four learners will act out the parts, adding chemicals and water to different beakers (with adult supervision). Learners will enjoy the poem as the indicators react with the substances and change color. This is a fun chemistry demonstration to use during Halloween. [Activity is publicly available through a web crawler capture on Archive.org.]

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
5 to 10 minutes

Learning Time:
5 to 10 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$1 - $5 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 11 - 18

Resource Types:
Activity, Demonstration, Experiment/Lab Activity


Materials List (per group of students)

  • 2-500 mL beakers or large, clear containers
  • 4-250 mL beakers or tall glasses
  • phenolphthalein
  • 3 M ammonia clear or colorless household ammonia
  • 3 M acetic acid or vinegar
  • water


  • Physical Sciences
    • Chemistry
      • Acids and Bases
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Conducting Investigations


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • see color

Learning styles supported:

  • Links STEM to other topics of interest such as arts and humanities
  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access with registration