How can kids visualize covalent bonding? By using manipulatives! Here kids build atoms to see their electron arrangement. Then they work with these models to show how electrons can be shared between two, three, or more atoms. This is the best way I've found to visualize single, double and triple bonds and for the kids to see how each outer shell is satisfied with eight electrons. 

 

The activities starts with simple combinations and progresses to more challenging ones. I prefer to teach this separately from ionic bonding so that kids can see the difference and not confuse them. Once we've done activities in both, kids can start to compare the two types of chemical bonding. 

 

Use this to learn and reinforce answers to questions such as:

❑ How is covalent bonding different from ionic bonding? 

❑ What's the maximum number of bonds one atom can make? 

❑ What types of covalent bonds beyond single bonds can an atom make?

 

Once students work through the activity, they can capture their observations using the included Lab Notes or probing questions included in the instructions. 

 

Concepts Addressed

♦  Atoms may join together to form well-defined molecules. 

♦  When electrons are shared (covalent bonds) neutral molecules result

♦  Some elements share (rather than transfer) electrons to stabilize their outer shells

 

Standards Addressed

NGSS  MS-PS1-1

TEKS 8.5D

VA SOL Science PS.4c 

 

Answer Keys and Teacher Notes address most questions and issues that might arise in this study—you shouldn’t have to do any outside research unless you want to.

 

Materials Needed     Nonconsummables: small game pieces to use as electrons, about 20 per lab group. Copies of atom/ion cards which can be made on cardstock and/or laminated. String. Copies of directions can be placed into page protectors or laminated. 

 

Prep Time  Collecting electron pieces. Photocopying the student cards and directions (laminating optional). Game pieces and atom/ion cards and can be reused for other activities in this series

 

Teaching Time   About 40 mins or more depending on accompanying writing assignment.

 

Student Sheets   Scaffolded writing prompts & lab reporting 

Covalent Bonding: Show Shared Electrons and Multiple Bonds. A Hands-On Activity

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    Answer Keys and Teacher Notes address most questions and issues that might arise in this study—you shouldn’t have to do any outside research unless you want to.

    Connect with me: If you have questions or problems, please let me know and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.

     

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