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Activity Sequence

Driving question/Phenomenon How is soap able to clean oil and yet be soluble in water? Explain the molecule of soap. This is my overall question for the unit and by the end of this activity sequence the students will be closer to being able to answer it. The specific phenomenon that will be examined in this activity sequence is the amount of water compared to alcohol that can be dropped onto the face of a penny. The students will be asked to explain why they are different. Focus Objective Analyze molecules and data to explain the type and strengths of intermolecular forces present.

I will start the unit with a demo and keep coming back to it. Eventually at the end the student will be able to explain the demonstration using intermolecular forces.

Big Ideas Intermolecular forces are forces of attraction or repulsion which act between neighboring particles. The weak intermolecular bonds in liquids and solids are often called van der Waals forces. These forces are the ones that are affected when a molecule changes state. One such force is dipole-dipole force. Dipole-dipole occurs when molecules with a dipole moment, can attract each other electrostatically by lining up so that the positive and negative ends are close to each other. To tell if there will be an unequal sharing of the electron it is important to look at the electronegativity of the atoms in the bond. If the electronegativity is different by a large amount this will result in the unequal sharing and cause a dipole moment. A molecule can also be polar if there are lone electrons on the central atom. The lone pair electrons will force the molecules structure to change by pushing the bonded atoms closer together. This will happen due the large negativity of the lone pair electrons. To see if there are lone electrons the atom should first be drawn using the Lewis dot structure and then using it to see the VESPR geometry of the molecule. One specifically strong dipole-dipole occurs when hydrogen is bonded to a highly electronegative atom, specifically oxygen, nitrogen, or fluorine. Due to its difference in strength to that of other dipole-dipole forces it is classified as a different intermolecular force, hydrogen bonding. Hydrogen bonding is such a strong intermolecular force due to great polarity of the bond the close approach of the dipoles, which is allowed by the very small size of the hydrogen atom. Even molecules without dipole moments must exert forces on each other. This has to be true due to all elements, even the noble gases, exist in liquid and solid states under certain conditions. The forces that exist between the noble gases and nonpolar molecules are the London dispersion forces. The different intermolecular forces cause different molecules to have very different physical properties. For example water contains hydrogen bonding which results in it have a much higher boiling and melting point to molecules that are very similar to it.

The focus objective for this unit allows the student to interpret data which for some of the activities the students will be preforming labs to collect the data

Examples: Students will be able to construct the knowledge to intermolecular forces from the data that will be examined in the following demonstrations. Comparing the number of drops of water can be placed on a penny to the number of drops of alcohol. Looking at data on the melting and boiling point of different compounds that have similar makeup. (ex. Looking at one that contains hydrogen bonding and one that contains dipole-dipole.)

These examples will allow the students to physically see differences and is an observable way to see the objective. When choosing the examples I made sure that they directly related back to the focus objective.

Purpose of activity Establish a problem/ Engage

Brief description of activity

Formative Assessment

Scientific practices

I will start with a demo which will consist of placing drops of water on a penny and comparing the number of drops to the number of drops of alcohol that can be held on the penny. I will then ask the students to write out what they observed and some possible explanations for these observations. They could also put down any questions that they have about the demonstration. From here I will have the students discuss so that I am able to hear their initial ideas. Students ideas are very important in this initial stage. I will be recording the students observations on a large class sheet this will allow the students to see each others ideas. This will be done after the students have had some time to think about it on their own.

This question will be asked as a warm up question that the students will first answer on their own.

-Modeling -Using personal experiences as data -Predicting

I decided to start with a demo because it will engage the students right away into the content and will work for a good way to hook the students.


Each student will be required to share their ideas with the class. We will go around the class until everyone has been able to voice their ideas.

I am having the students first answer on their own because it will provide more thoughtful answers. When we discuss as a class I will ask them to provide evidence for their answers. I am recording the students ideas so that we will be able to refer back to them later and modify them using the new data and information. Evidence: Data and patterns or predict/ explain For evidence and data I will have students perform a series of micro-labs and analyze data to look for patterns between the different intermolecular forces and physical properties; Students will be given data of the different boiling points of molecules and asked to draw the Lewis structures and identify the IMF present. Students will be given data that has the state of matter that different compounds exist in during normal conditions. Students will examine the viscosity of substances and identify the intermolecular force present for the different substances. As an exit ticket the students will be asked what pattern they observe between the physical properties and the intermolecular forces. I will also ask them to hypothesize why they are noticing that one of the intermolecular forces has much stronger attraction than other ones.

-Questioning -Justifying ideas with evidence -recognizing uncertainty behind the reason for background knowledge

-Predicting -Questioning -Justifying ideas with evidence

The evidence portion of my activity section relates directly back to the action verbs of how the students are supposed to be able to analyze the strength of the intermolecular forces. For the activities the students will be collecting data and then drawing out the molecules to see the type of intermolecular forces that are present. Students will revise our original model using sticky notes to make corrections

Students explanations/ models or observe/ Explain

Students will use the data that has been collected to notice a trend between the different physical properties that were examined. From the trend the students will identify which of the intermolecular forces is the strongest and justify their answer using the data. The students will revisit the initial demonstration and use sticky notes to fix or explain the initial understanding of the phenomenon. I will also give the students additional molecules and have them use the intermolecular forces to predict the different physical properties. This will provide students a chance to practice the new concepts before the summative assessment.

-Taking a stance
using evidence -communicating science ideas -revising models -Analyzing and interpreting data

For this section of the sequence we will be returning to the original demonstration that we examined. After looking at the other patterns the students should be able to apply those patterns to explain the penny demo.

Scientific theories or models

I anticipate that students will be explaining why different forces are stronger than others. I will help the students in this area asking scaffolding questions and examining deeper how the forces are similar and different. This will be done as a class discussion.

As an exit ticket I will give the students a data table of physical properties for four unknown compounds and have the students identify the forces for each of the compounds.

-Engaging in
argument from evidence -construction explanations -communicating information -Revising models


Students will write a synopsis of the different types of forces. This will include the following information: -what are all the different types of forces -why/how are they different -how does the type of force effect the strength for the intermolecular force -how to tell which type of force is present if looking at a model

science ideas