Classroom Resources: Molecules & Bonding


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  • Interdisciplinary, Lab Safety, Identifying an Unknown, Molecular Structure | High School

    Lesson Plan: How Modern Instrumentation Revolutionized the Poison Game

    In this lesson, students are introduced to the world of Forensic Chemistry using the prologue of Deborah Blum’s The Poisoner’s Handbook. Discussion revolves around why murder by poison was so prevalent during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and why it is so rare today.  Students create their own Safety Data Sheet on a poison of choice, and learn about how mass spectroscopy has helped revolutionize the modern analysis of toxins. 

  • Separating Mixtures, Density, Polymers, Polymers | High School

    Activity: Identifying Plastics with Density Data

    In this activity, students will familiarize themselves with different types of plastics. Using data analysis, students will determine how to use the density values of a variety of plastic samples in order to separate a specific sample from a mixture.

  • Density, Polymers, Polymers, Chemical Properties | High School

    Lab: The Big Six Plastics

    In this lab students will use data and chemical tests to better understand different types of plastics and their properties. Ultimately, students can choose the best plastic material to construct a compost bin.

  • Intermolecular Forces, Polarity, Molecular Structure, Molecular Structure , Functional Groups | High School

    Lab: The Chemistry of Hand Sanitizer and Soap

    In this lab, students will model the interaction between hand sanitizer particles and virus particles, as well as between soap particles and virus particles. They will apply their understanding of molecular structure and intermolecular forces to analyze their observations and behavior of the particles, in order to gain a better understanding of how soaps and sanitizers work.

  • Intermolecular Forces, Molecular Structure, Measurements, SI Units | High School

    Activity: Designing an Effective Respiratory Cloth Mask

    In this activity students will use unit conversion to help compare sizes of molecules, viruses, and droplets and then use them to interpret graphical data. They will then use their findings to design a cloth mask that helps protect its wearer against infection by SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

  • Observations, Inferences, Molecular Motion, Temperature | Elementary School

    Demonstration: How Does Temperature Affect Water Molecules?

    In this demonstration, students will observe models to better understand that temperature affects molecular movements.

  • Intermolecular Forces, Polarity, Covalent Bonding, Ionic Bonding, Lewis Structures | High School

    Demonstration: Interactions Between Particles

    In groups of six to eight, students will observe the behavior of substances and mixtures to determine the relative strength of intermolecular forces between the particles in each substance or mixture. They will then arrange different cards representing ions and molecules based on intermolecular forces to determine the best molecular level representation of the physical samples they observed.

  • Percent Composition, Stoichiometry, Limiting Reactant, Percent Composition, Lewis Structures | High School

    Lab: Untouchable Key Escape Room

    In this lab, students are presented with a key wrapped in aluminum foil a quantity of solid copper (II) chloride, a balance, distilled water and a selection of standard laboratory glassware and equipment. Without using their hands to touch the key, students must react the key with a copper (II) chloride solution in order to free the key and use it to escape from the chemistry classroom!

  • Intermolecular Forces | High School

    Simulation: Intermolecular Forces

    In this simulation, students will review the three major types of intermolecular forces and answer quiz questions using the relative strengths of these forces to compare different substances given their name, formula, and Lewis structure.

  • Physical Properties, Intermolecular Forces, Polarity, Covalent Bonding, Molecular Geometry, Lewis Structures | High School

    Activity: Simulation Activity: Intermolecular Forces

    In this simulation, students will review the three major types of intermolecular forces – London dispersion forces, dipole-dipole interactions, and hydrogen bonding – through short video clips and accompanying text. They will then answer quiz questions using the relative strengths of these forces to compare different substances given their name, formula, and Lewis structure, and put them in order based on the strength of their intermolecular forces, their boiling point, or their vapor pressure. The simulation is designed as a five question quiz for students to use multiple times.

  • Intermolecular Forces, Elements, Interdisciplinary, Percent Composition | High School

    Activity: Investigating how the Chemistry of Plate Tectonics Affects Volcanoes

    In this activity, students will learn about the impact chemistry has on plate tectonics and volcanoes. Students will analyze graphs and charts in order to better understand these topics during this investigation.

  • Periodic Table, Atomic Radius, Ionization Energy, Electronegativity | High School

    Activity: Periodic War

    In this activity, students play a card game to apply their knowledge of the periodic trends of the main group elements.

  • Physical Properties, Solubility, Polarity, Covalent Bonding, Intermolecular Forces, Molecular Geometry, Electronegativity | Middle School, High School

    Activity: The Chemistry of Water Video Questions

    In this lesson, students will watch a video and answer questions about how the molecular geometry and polarity of water give rise to many of its unusual physical properties, including its relatively high boiling point and its ability to dissolve some substances but not others.

  • Physical Properties, Solubility, Melting Point, Naming Compounds, Molecular Formula, Ionic Bonding, Ionic Radius, Ions | High School

    Activity: My Name is Bond, Ionic Bond

    In this lesson, students will demonstrate their knowledge of ionic bond strength using a “brackets” activity. Pairs of students start the activity playing a game of “Ionic Compound War” to build eight compounds. Then then transfer the compounds to a “bracket” and use their knowledge of ionic bonding, along with a solubility chart, to predict the strongest and weakest bond between four pairs of ionic substances.

  • Physical Properties, Solubility, Melting Point, Naming Compounds, Molecular Formula, Ionic Bonding, Ionic Radius, Ions | High School

    Activity: Ionic Bonding Brackets

    In this lesson, students will demonstrate their knowledge of ionic bond strength and its relationship to the properties of melting point and solubility using a “brackets” activity. After analyzing the ionic charge and radius to predict the strongest and weakest bond between four pairs of ionic substances, they will then determine which will be the least soluble.

  • Naming Compounds, Molecular Structure, Molecular Structure | High School

    Activity: Naming Alkanes

    In this activity, students will learn how to name simple organic structures including alkanes, branched alkanes and haloalkanes.

  • Intermolecular Forces, Molecular Structure, Molecular Structure | High School

    Lab: Intermolecular Attractions in Organic Liquids

    In this lab, students will analyze the molecular structure of substances in order to predict how different types of intermolecular attractions will affect the boiling points of various organic liquids. Students will then complete laboratory testing in order to collect data and compare their results with their predictions.

  • Physical Properties, Molecular Formula, Covalent Bonding, Ionic Bonding | High School

    Lesson Plan: Investigating Properties of Ionic and Covalent Compounds

    In this lesson, students will use a PhET simulation in combination with Safety Data Sheets in order to analyze specific ionic and covalent substances. Students will then use the collected data in order to identify trends in the properties of similar substances.

  • Polarity, Ionic Bonding, Electronegativity, Bond Energy, Intramolecular Forces, Lewis Structures | High School

    Lesson Plan: Bond Strength of Ionic Salts

    In this lesson, students will discover that dissolving salts changes the temperature of a solution even though it is a physical change. Students will first collect data during an investigation to compare the temperature change when dissolving three different salts (NaCl, KCl, and CaCl2). Then students will use magnets to construct an explanation of the temperature change based on collision of particles and properties of the metals.

  • Electricity, Polymers, Molecular Structure, Heat, Temperature, Molecular Geometry, Electronegativity | Middle School, High School

    Activity: Future of Paint Video Questions

    In this activity, students will watch a video and answer related questions about the fascinating and innovative scientific advancements of paint. During the video, Students will learn how the molecular components in paint are helping to evolve in the world around them.

  • Mixtures, Molecular Structure, Electromagnetic Spectrum | Middle School, High School

    Activity: What are Pigments? Video Questions

    In this activity, students will watch a video and answer related questions about the chemistry of pigment molecules and how they are used to give paints their specific color. During the video, students will learn about the importance of a pigment’s molecular structure, how they are physically suspended to create a paint color, as well as how they interact with light.

  • Mixtures, Intermolecular Forces, Polymers, Molecular Structure, Solute & Solvent, Intermolecular Forces, Electromagnetic Spectrum | Middle School, High School

    Activity: What is Paint? Video Questions

    In this activity, students will watch a video and answer related questions about the composition of paint. During the video, students will learn about the differences between three common paint types, water colors, oil-based and acrylic paint as well as the chemistry of each.

  • Observations, Chemical Change, Physical Change, Molecular Structure | Middle School, High School

    Lab: Determining a Chemical or Physical Change

    In this lab, students will follow a laboratory procedure that instructs them how to heat a small sample of copper(II) sulfate pentahydrate. Students will make observations in order to determine if a chemical or physical change occurs.

  • Renewable Energy, Introduction, Interdisciplinary, History, Polymers, Heat, Molecular Structure | Middle School, High School

    Video: Frontiers of Chemistry

    This video explores new scientific developments that were made possible by the application of fundamental chemistry concepts. Students will learn about exciting advances in science and technology focused on three main topics: Solar Cells, 3D Printing and Micro Machines.

  • Naming Compounds, Molecular Formula, Periodic Table, Covalent Bonding, Ionic Bonding, Valence Electrons, Subatomic Particles, Lewis Dot Diagrams, Molecular Geometry, Ions, Lewis Structures | High School, Middle School

    Simulation: Ionic & Covalent Bonding

    In the September 2016 simulation, students investigate both ionic and covalent bonding. Students will have the opportunity to interact with many possible combinations of atoms and will be tasked with determining the type of bond and the number of atom needed to form each. Students will become familiar with the molecular formula, as well as the naming system for each type of bond and geometric shape, when applicable.

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