Students practice assignment of symmetry elements and point groups, practice developing a character table, and learn about the link between orbitals and irreducible representations.
Students will be able to sketch and label the symmetry elements for a simple molecule.
Students will be able to use a flow chart to assign the point group of a molecule.
Instead of collecting the handouts, you can ask the groups to "report out" their results to the rest of the class by writing their answers on the board and explaining them. This adds about another 15 minutes to the activity.
I collect and grade the handouts.
The students usually do this activity in small groups. The good thing about doing this in class is that misconceptions arise and can be addressed immediately. I will post a summary of the grading results when I do this activity next spring (2010).