On-line worksheets of organic molecules' polarity and solubility, and intermolecular forces

Colleen Conway, Mount Mary College using ChemEdDL materials
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This material is replicated on a number of sites as part of the SERC Pedagogic Service Project


These 5 on-line organic worksheets cover alkanes, alkenes, alcohols and thiols, aldehydes and ketones, and carboxylic acids and esters. They have students look at Models 360 from ChemEdDL to help them see the models in 3-D, determine if the molecules are polar or nonpolar, what types of intermolecular interactions happen, water solubility, and boiling points. Students are given paper copies and then bring them to class and discuss them in groups.

Learning Goals

These worksheets are guided inquiry type and ask students questions to lead them to determine polarity of different organic functional groups and how that effects water solubility, and boiling points. The main goal is for students to have a better understanding of both the 3-D structures of the organic molecules and intermolecular forces.

Context for Use

These are written for a pre-health organic and biochemistry course. Students have had one semester of general chemistry and then take the combined organic and biochemistry course if they are pre-nursing and pre-dietetics students. They could be used for a one semester general-organic-biochemistry course if there was time.

Description and Teaching Materials

These 5 organic functional group worksheets are available on the ChemEdDL Moodle course located here: http://moodle.chemeddl.org/course/view.php?id=78.

Teaching Notes and Tips

I usually give the students these worksheets at the beginning of each of the chapters of the functional groups and have them due in 2-3 days. I want them to be able to learn about the functional groups characteristics before they get into the reactions.


When the students finish these worksheets, they go over them in their groups of 4 to make sure that the material is clear and they understand what I wanted them to learn.

References and Resources

These worksheets are guided inquiry type materials and based on the POGIL chemactivities. Process Orientated Guided Inquiry Learning (POGIL) is a method of learning where students use models to construct knowledge, visit http://www.pogil.org for more information. However, in POGIL - the students do that in class and these are take home activities. These are not true POGIL materials.

The ChemEd DL Summit Resource Course (http://moodle.chemeddl.org/course/view.php?id=78) houses all of the submissions from two-year and four-year college faculty members who have designed resources using the Chem Ed DL (Chemical Educational Digital Library) for use in organic chemistry and general chemistry classrooms and laboratories.

This resource is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grants No. NSF-DUE 1044239 and NSF-DUE 0937796. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.