Novel instructional methods for studying the chemistry of main group elements?

Submitted by BoB LeSuer / The College at Brockport, SUNY on Wed, 07/10/2013 - 13:57

I am looking for some suggestions on innovative strategies for introducing the chemistry of main group elements to students.  Our Inorganic Chemistry class is a pre-pchem lecture and lab and I'll be using the 5th edition of Miessler/Fischer/Tarr.  (And a big thank you goes out to the authors, who have finally accepted to include at least a little bit of redox chemistry in the text.)  My issue arises with Chapter 8 (and the like), which in my opinion boils down to "read these sections, memorize these facts, quiz Monday".