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Advanced Chemistry

A colleague suggested that I include the effect of lone electron pairs on the bond angle (such as a comparison on the bond angle in water, ammonia, and methane). Do you think this is necessary in a non-honors class?

Started over 3 years ago by AACTconnect Admin.


  • Adrian Dingle

    Posted over 3 years ago

    Since 'non-honors' has absolutely ZERO meaning in a standardized sense, it depends on the level of the kids in the class. There might be some situations where this is entirely appropriate, and others where it is not. This is a classic case of professional judgment being your best guide.

  • Jennifer Bishoff

    Posted over 3 years ago

    I do think that you teach this, because how else can you explain the uniqueness of water? Polarity is important for students in most chemistry classes, so I think it is worthwhile, at least for water.

  • Ryan Johnson

    Posted over 3 years ago

    For a non-honors class, while I don't get too deep into naming molecular shapes or giving precise bonding angle measurements/predictions, I *do* find that it's important to bring lone electron pairs into the conversation when it comes to explaining why molecules form the shapes that they do. Just a simple "play session" with molecular modeling kits (Snatoms, I LOVE you!) usually prompts the inquiry-driven question of "why is water bent like this, instead of linear?" Or, "why is ammonia shaped the way it is?" These excellent observations and questions need an answer, even in lower-level chemistry, rather than just sweeping it under the rug and saying "you'll learn that in AP" or whatever. By the time students are learning about molecules, they should be relatively proficient with knowing valence electron structure, so bringing lone pairs into the discussion should be a relatively simple process of revisiting Lewis dot diagrams/structures!

  • Kaleb Underwood

    Posted over 3 years ago

    This is going too deep for a non-honors course, in my opinion. Unless you are going to investigate the differences in the properties (such as boiling point) between the substances, then the distinction is unnecessary.