AACT Chemical Bonding Unit Plan Updated

By Kim Duncan on October 15, 2020

As chemistry teachers around the country are planning activities for both distant and face-to-face learning, AACT will be highlighting resources from our high school resource library that can be used to reinforce topics in different units throughout the school year. Last week we updated our Periodic Table unit and we are now moving on to resources that can be used to support an Chemical Bonding unit.

We have added a few resources related to this topic to the high school library, which are highlighted below. We have also updated our unit plan to help you teach an introductory unit on chemical bonding. In the sidebar of this page, we have included links to resources that are appropriate for virtual learning.

Ionic and Covalent Bonding

Students use a PhET simulation in combination with Safety Data Sheets in order to analyze specific ionic and covalent substances with the lesson, Investigating Properties of Ionic and Covalent Compounds. They then use the collected data to identify trends in the properties of similar substances.

Use the lesson, Bond Strength of Ionic Salts to help your students discover that dissolving salts changes the temperature of a solution even though it is a physical change. They first collect data during an investigation to compare the temperature change when dissolving three different salts and then use magnets to construct an explanation of the temperature change based on collision of particles and properties of the metals.

We have two new activities that will allow students to demonstrate their understanding of ionic bonding and ionic properties.

  • Use the “brackets” activity, My Name is Bond, Ionic Bond to assess your students’ understanding of ionic bond strength. 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.
  • With a similar “brackets” resource, Ionic Bonding Brackets, students apply their knowledge of ionic bond strength and its relationship to melting point and solubility. 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.

Molecular Structure and IMFs

Introduce the relationship between molecular structure and properties with the lesson, The Chemistry of Water Video. Students watch a video that is part of the American Chemical Society video series Chemistry Basics and answer questions as it plays. This activity will help them learn about how the shape of a molecule will determine properties such as melting and boiling point.

In the Intermolecular Forces simulation, students can 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 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.

Students observe the behavior of substances and mixtures to determine the relative strength of intermolecular forces between the particles using the demo Interactions Between Particles. They 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.

Connect chemistry with current events and give your students extra unit conversion practice with the activity, Designing an Effective Respiratory Cloth Mask. Students use unit conversion to help compare sizes of molecules, viruses, and droplets and then use them to interpret graphical data. They 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.

Organic Chemistry

If you include organic chemistry topics in your bonding unit we have three new resources related to that topic.

  • Use the activity, Naming Alkanes to teach students how to name simple organic structures including alkanes, branched alkanes and haloalkanes.
  • The lab, Intermolecular Attractions in Organic Liquids allows students to 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. They then complete laboratory testing in order to collect data and compare their results with their predictions.
  • The Chemistry of Hand Sanitizer and Soap lab also shows students connections between chemistry and current events. They model the interaction between hand sanitizer particles and virus particles, as well as between soap particles and virus particles. They then apply their understanding of molecular structure and intermolecular forces to analyze their observations and behavior of the particles.

We hope that these resources can help you to reinforce several of the topics covered in a unit about chemical bonding. Most of these lessons were made possible by great teachers who shared their own resources. We need your help to keep the collection growing. Do you have a great demonstration, activity, or lesson related to this topic that you would like to share with the community? Please send it along for consideration.