Remembering the reactivity series of metals
Here’s a story that should help you remember the order of metals in the reactivity series, from top to bottom, most reactive to least reactive:
The potato king (
potassium - K) was worried about a plague of gnats attracted by the large amounts of …
… soda (
sodium - Na) being drunk in his kingdom. He issued a decree banning soda pop drinking.
Soda was the favourite drink of a lethal mum (
lithium - Li) living in the kingdom, and she threatened to shoot anyone who went along with his decree.
However, the lethal mum’s bony cat (
calcium - Ca) persuaded her and everyone else to drink milk instead.
The increase in discarded milk cartons led to a plague of maggots (
magnesium - Mg) which got into everything.
The local alligators (
aluminium - Al) loved the maggots. They ate mounds of them and grew extremely large.
They became so big and strong that when they crossed the road, cars just bounced off them and burst into flames. Some burning cars landed in the sea (
carbon – C).
One car collided with a boat carrying a Zulu and a nun, causing it to sink (
zinc - Zn).
The nun and the Zulu swam ashore. The nun removed her habit and socks and waited for them to dry in the sun. The Zulu used an iron with his feet (
iron - Fe) to get the wrinkles out of them for her.
The iron hit a lump in a pocket, which turned out to be a tin of snails (
tin - Sn). The tin was split open and suddenly a snail shot out and …
… did a P.B. (personal best) time rolling away. (Only snails that feed on peanut butter (
lead – Pb) can do this!)
A dragon hovering high above (
hydrogen – H) swooped down and snapped up the snail in its huge claws.
As it rested later, the dragon was approached by a policeman (
copper - Cu) who said: “No dragons allowed to fly here! See you in court!”
At the court hearing, two silverback gorillas (
silver – Ag) appeared for the dragon …
… and a goldfish (
gold – Au) put the case for the prosecution.
The judge was a platypus with platinum hair (
platinum – Pt).
However, the case had to be abandoned as the judge fell asleep and could not be awakened for the rest of the day. Remember, the lower a metal is in the reactivity series, the less reactive is it – and platinum is right at the bottom, marking the end of our story.