Molecular Geometry Worksheet & Lab Activity

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VSEPR Molecular Geometry Candy Molecules

This Chemistry Lab is meant for high school chemistry students. Be sure to download the lab sheet below before you begin.

Molecular Shape and the VSEPR Theory Lab Sheets

Download and print the following to use with your Molecular Shape and the VSEPR Theory Lab Activity

2-6 Candy Molecules - Lab Answers (Doc)

2-6 Candy Molecules - Lab Answers (PDF)

2-6 Candy Molecules - Lab (Doc)

2-6 Candy Molecules - Lab (PDF)

2-6 Candy Molecules - Student Lab Sheet (Doc)

2-6 Candy Molecules - Student Lab Sheet (PDF)

Molecular Geometry Background Information and Theory:

The valence shell electron pair repulsion (VSEPR) theory (or “VESPER” for short) is how the geometry of a molecule is determined around a central atom. The molecular geometry main shapes are tetrahedral, trigonal planar, trigonal pyramidal, bent, and linear and are named by measuring the bond angles between the central atom and another atom bonded to it.

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This practical activity allows students to practice drawing Lewis structures for a number of different covalent compounds in order to use them to assemble their candy molecules. These molecules can then be used to determine the geometry of the compounds.

As well as learning the names for each 3D shape, students should also start to see how their two-dimensional drawings actually exist in three dimensions.

Molecular Geometry Curriculum Link:

  • 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.
  • HS-PS1-2. Construct and revise an explanation for the outcome of a simple chemical reaction based on the outermost electron states of atoms, trends in the periodic table, and knowledge of the patterns of chemical properties.

Objectives

By the end of this lesson, students should be able to:

  • Name the different geometric shapes using a 2D or 3D image
  • Identify molecules which show resonance
  • Give examples of molecules which have each geometric shape.
  • Recognize from a Lewis structure the molecular geometry of a compound.
  • Understand VSEPR theory.

What you’ll need:

Pinterest has loads of ideas on the kinds of candy that are appropriate for this activity. However, having run this lab a few times, the following types of candy always work well:

  • Large gumdrops (or colored marshmallows, or foam balls) (single atoms)
  • Toothpicks (chemical bonds)
  • Models of each type of geometry at the front of the classroom for student reference.
  • Protractors for measuring bond angles.

Additional Notes:

  • Teachers could also use modeling clay or playdoh to make single atoms as an alternative to candy.
  • This investigation only covers compounds that observe the octet rule.
  • This investigation could be extended for advanced placement students to add more complicated molecules which extend past the octet rule.

What to do:

  1. Use gumdrops which match the same color code that chemists use for their molecular models:

Black = carbon
White = hydrogen
Red = oxygen
Purple (or blue) = nitrogen
Green = chlorine
Yellow = sulfur 
Orange = phosphorus

 

  1. Students first need to identify the number of bonds each element has:

Hydrogen = one toothpick coming out if it.

Chlorine = one

Oxygen =two

Nitrogen = three

Phosphorous = three

Carbon = four

Sulfur = two or four

  1. Give students a few simple molecules to try first such as:

Molecular Geometry Worksheet

Students work through the lab sheet, building molecules as they go to assist them.

This Lab Activity is part or our unit on Chemical Reactions

The lessons for this unit include...

Unit 2: Chemical Reactions

  • 2-1 Atomic Combinations
  • 2-2 Covalent Bonding
  • 2-3 Ionic Bonding
  • 2-4 Metallic Bonding
  • 2-5 Molecular Solids
  • 2-6 Writing Chemical Formula
  • 2-7 Molecular Shape and VSEPR Theory

FREE Molecular Geometry PDF's

Molecular Geometry Answer Files

GUIDED NOTES

  • 2-7 Guided Notes TE - Molecular Shape and VSEPR Theory (MEMBERS ONLY)

DOODLE NOTES

  • 2-7 Vocabulary Doodle Notes TE - Molecular Shape and VSEPR Theory (MEMBERS ONLY)

VOCABULARY

  • 2-7 Vocabulary Worksheet TE - Molecular Shape and VSEPR Theory (MEMBERS ONLY)

DAY 2

BELL RINGER

  • 2-7a Bell Ringer TE - Molecular Shape and VSEPR Theory (MEMBERS ONLY)

EXIT QUIZ

  • 2-7a Exit Quiz TE - Molecular Shape and VSEPR Theory (MEMBERS ONLY)

HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENT

  • 2-7a Homework Questions TE - Molecular Shape and VSEPR Theory (MEMBERS ONLY)

LESSON PLAN

  • 2-7a Lesson Plan - Molecular Shape and VSEPR Theory (MEMBERS ONLY)

DAY 3

BELL RINGER

  • 2-7b Bell Ringer TE - Molecular Shape and VSEPR Theory (MEMBERS ONLY)

EXIT QUIZ

  • 2-7b Exit Quiz TE - Molecular Shape and VSEPR Theory (MEMBERS ONLY)

HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENT

  • 2-7b Homework Questions TE - Molecular Shape and VSEPR Theory (MEMBERS ONLY)

LESSON PLAN

  • 2-7b Lesson Plan - Molecular Shape and VSEPR Theory (MEMBERS ONLY)

DAY 4

BELL RINGER

  • 2-7c Bell Ringer TE - Molecular Shape and VSEPR Theory (MEMBERS ONLY)

EXIT QUIZ

  • 2-7c Exit Quiz TE - Molecular Shape and VSEPR Theory (MEMBERS ONLY)

HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENT

  • 2-7c Homework Questions TE - Molecular Shape and VSEPR Theory (MEMBERS ONLY)

LESSON PLAN

  • 2-7c Lesson Plan - Molecular Shape and VSEPR Theory (MEMBERS ONLY)

Molecular Geometry Worksheet - Word Docs & PowerPoint

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