I do not like to take a large amount of time in class to cover nomenclature of any kind though I want students to know the names of common ligands and the basic ideas of how coordination complexes are named. Since it is a systematic topic I assign this guided inquiry worksheet. The students complete it outside of class and can work at whatever pace they want. If they are more familiar with the topics the can quickly complete it but if they are rusty or have not seen some of the material it gives them an easy entry point to ask questions to fill in any gaps in their knowledge. This assignment covers determing charge on a metal in a complex with simple ligands, how to identify and name common isomers, and it is structured in a guided inquiry form.
Students will be able to identify and correctly name common ligands in a chemical structure or chemical name.
Students will be able to identify the charge on a metal or a ligand in a chemical structure.
Students will be able to identify common isomeric differences in a chemical structure or a chemical formula (cis, trans, fac, mer).
Students will be able to use a chemical name to draw a chemical structure.
I use this assignment to replace a lengthy lecture on the topic of nomenclature when covering coordination chemistry. I have students complete this assignment outside of class. I encourage them to work in pairs so students can jointly interpret the instructions and determine the patterns in naming complexes. The assignment is constructed in a very straightforward manner and covers the basics of inorganic nomenclature.
Upon completion of the assignment I take about 15-20 minutes in class to quickly cover the main ideas of the assignment. I field any questions that arose during the assignment and I do a few comprehension check type questions on the board.