Chemistry Ionic & Covalent Bonding (Lewis Dot & VSEPR) Guided Inquiry Lesson

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Ionic and Covalent Bonding (Lewis Dot Structures and VSEPR) Inquiry Lesson

Texas Chemistry Standards (TEKS)
C.7.C: The student is expected to construct electron dot formulas to illustrate ionic and covalent bonds.
C.7.E: The student is expected to predict molecular structures for molecules with linear, trigonal planar, or tetrahedral electron pair geometries using Valence Shell Electron Pair Repulsion (VSEPR) theory.

Lesson Summary:
This guided inquiry lesson enables students to construct their own understanding of ionic and covalent bonding mechanisms and Lewis dot structures. Students also discover crystal lattice structures and VSEPR shapes . Students are able to actively learn the material without lecture or note taking.

Part 1: Happy Atoms
• Students compare Bohr models of atoms with complete and incomplete valence shells. They discover that most atoms are more stable (“happy”) with eight valence electrons.

Part 2: Bonding Mechanisms
• Students compare three cartoons illustrating the relationship between two dogs and a bone: 1) large dog and a small dog – the dogs share a bone, but the larger dog gets to chew on the bone more 2) two dogs the same size – the dogs share a bone equally 3) a large dog and a very small dog – the large dog takes the bone away from the small dog.

• Students compare illustrations of the bonding mechanisms involved in polar covalent, nonpolar covalent, and ionic bonds with the dog cartoons. They discover that electrons are shared unequally in polar covalent bonds, electrons are share equally in nonpolar covalent bonds, and the electrons of one atom are taken by another atom in an ionic bond. They also discover the role of electronegativity in different bonding types.

Part 3: Happiness Through Ionic Bonding
• Students discover how metals and nonmetals are able to “work together” to achieve a stable octet. They then practice drawing ionic Lewis dot structures from Bohr model illustrations and by using the periodic table to determine the number of valence electrons.

• Students discover that attraction between the positive and negative ions formed during ionic bonding cause ionic substances to form crystal lattice shapes.

• Students gain additional practice drawing ionic Lewis dot structures by working through a set of task cards.

Part 4: Happiness Through Covalent Bonding
• Students discover how nonmetals are able to “work together” to achieve stable outer shells. They practice learning to identify whether each atom in a compound has a complete outer shell.

• Students are given twelve cards illustrating Lewis dot structures. Six of the cards are drawn correctly and six of the cards are drawn incorrectly. Students must sort the cards into groups of correctly and incorrectly drawn structures, and explain why the incorrect structure are not correct.

• Students study a flow chart and two examples that illustrate how to draw the Lewis dot structure for a covalent substance. Students then practice drawing the Lewis dot structures for covalent compounds and polyatomic ions.

• Students compare illustrations of Lewis dot structures and their corresponding VSEPR shapes. They discover that difference between the linear /bent and trigonal planar/trigonal pyramidal shapes is the presence of unbonded electrons on the central atom. Students also practice identifying the number of electron dense regions around the central atom.

• Students are given fifteen cards illustrating Lewis dot structures and are asked to sort them into groups corresponding to the following VSEPR shapes: linear, bent, trigonal planar, trigonal pyramidal, and tetrahedral.

• Students gain additional practice drawing covalent Lewis dot structures and determining their VSEPR shapes by working through a set of task cards.

Student Study Sheet
Students are provided with a student study sheet summarizing all of the important concepts and vocabulary in this lesson.


Learning Objectives (Bloom’s Revised Taxonomy):
Remembering: Identify atoms with stable octets.
Understanding: Explain the following terms: valence electrons, octet rule, electronegativity, ionic bond, crystal lattice structure, polar covalent bond, nonpolar covalent bond, Lewis dot structure, polyatomic ion, VSEPR, linear molecule, bent molecule, trigonal planar molecule, trigonal pyramidal molecule, tetrahedral molecule.
Applying: Determine why the attraction between oppositely charged ions causes ionic substances to form crystal lattice structures.
Determine the VSEPR shape of a covalent substance from its Lewis dot structure.
Analyzing: Differentiate between ionic and covalent bonding in terms of the elements and the bonding mechanisms involved.
Evaluating: Discuss how bonding between atoms enables them to achieve a stable shell of valence electrons.
Creating: Create Lewis dot structures for ionic and covalent substances.


Included in this Download:
• Cover page (1 page)
• Guided inquiry lesson (27 pages)
• Colorful handouts and card sets (12 pages)
• Ionic and Covalent Lewis dot structure Task Cards (21 pages)
• Task card answers (18 pages)
• Task card answer sheets (2 pages)
• Student study sheets (3 pages)
• Teacher notes (2 pages)
• Guided inquiry lesson with suggested answers (30 pages)


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Total Pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
2 hours

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Chemistry Ionic & Covalent Bonding (Lewis Dot & VSEPR) Gui
Chemistry Ionic & Covalent Bonding (Lewis Dot & VSEPR) Gui
Chemistry Ionic & Covalent Bonding (Lewis Dot & VSEPR) Gui
Chemistry Ionic & Covalent Bonding (Lewis Dot & VSEPR) Gui