Here is a simple activity to help students learn about water’s polar nature. Students build models of a water droplet while indicating hydrogen bonding between water molecules. Students also use paper cut-outs to demonstrate the ability of water to dissolve ionic compounds. Water Molecule Model Building Activity I have also included links to several short episodes of a series from the National Science Foundation called Chemistry Now. These can be helpful during a review of biochemistry.
If you like this activity, then you might also like these biochemistry review activities with interactives from Concord Consortium’s Next Generation Molecular Workbench.
Chemistry of Water (4:46)– It might just be the most universally known fact in chemistry: the chemical formula for water-H2O. This video “profiles” the H2O molecule–its structure, polarity, cohesive and adhesive properties, and water’s properties as a “universal” solvent.
The Chemistry of Ice – This video explains how the molecular structure of H2O changes as it reaches its freezing point, and turns from a liquid to a less dense, solid, crystal lattice. (5:22)
The Chemistry of Salt – This video explains and illustrates the molecular structure of sodium chloride (NaCl) crystals; the structure and symmetry of crystal lattices; and why one crystalline solid, salt, melts another, ice. (6:22)
The Chemistry of CO2: Carbon Dioxide – This video explains and illustrates the molecular structure of CO2; how the bonding of the carbon and oxygen molecules illustrates the Octet Rule, or Rule of 8; carbon dioxide and carbonation; the role of CO2 in the Earth’s atmosphere; and how changing levels of CO2 can affect the temperature on the Earth’s surface, including the oceans. (6:44)
It’s a Wash: The Chemistry of Soap – explains how soaps and detergents–surfactants–work to break up grease and dirt on soiled surfaces, by breaking water’s surface tension and suspending dirt and oil particles in water so everything can be wiped away. (5:47)
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