In the Build Models of Molecules Guided-Inquiry Kit for chemistry, use reasoning skills to build molecules from the ground up using models. Determine and draw the structural formula for each molecule.
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Only 4 of the 92 naturally occurring elements make up 95% of all living things. How can so many different molecules be made from so few elements? In this introductory guided-inquiry activity, students use reasoning skills to build molecules from the ground up using models. Students then determine and draw the structural formula for each molecule. The activity is divided into five parts, starting with a teacher demonstration. Each of the four student-centered activities is a self-contained unit, allowing student groups to start at different stations and then rotate to the next activity station. Students discover why some molecules have double or triple bonds, determine the general formulas of hydrocarbons, develop the concept of isomers, and learn to distinguish various chemical groups. As students work collaboratively in their groups to brainstorm how the molecules are put together, they use critical thinking skills to actively “construct” their knowledge of the subject matter. Greater understanding is achieved as students hold the models in their hands, take them apart, and put them together again a different way.
Kit includes reproducible student handouts, detailed background information, complete Teacher Notes with answers to all questions, and enough materials for eight groups of students. Model kit is completely reusable from year to year!
Correlation to Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
Science & Engineering Practices
Developing and using models
Constructing explanations and designing solutions
Disciplinary Core Ideas
MS-PS1.A: Structure and Properties of Matter
MS-PS1.B: Chemical Reactions
Scale, proportion, and quantity
Systems and system models
Structure and function
MS-PS1-1. Develop models to describe the atomic composition of simple molecules and extended structures.
HS-PS1-1. Use the periodic table as a model to predict the relative properties of elements based on the patterns of electrons in the outermost energy level of atoms.