20 Jan 2010

Interactive Lewis Structures

Web Resources and Apps

Submitted by Adam Bridgeman, The University of Sydney


A set of Flash-based, interactive tools for students to construct Lewis structures for electron deficient, octet rule obeying and hypervalent MLx molecules and ions (x = 2 - 6).

The user chooses the number of electrons and bond type (single, double or triple) and is steered towards the correct stucture.

For cases where resonance structures are possible, the user must construct each form to complete the puzzle.

Learning Goals: 

A student should be able to draw Lewis structures for electron deficient, octet rule obeying and hypervalent molecules.

A student should be able to construct resonance structures where appropriate.

Related activities: 
Implementation Notes: 

Self-learning tools for students to back up lectures.

Time Required: 
~1 minute per molecule.
Evaluation Methods: 

Lewis structures are assessed via multiple choice quizzes.

Evaluation Results: 

Students requested additional molecules in the library.

Creative Commons License: 
Creative Commons Licence


I used this activity today in my general chemistry section of 18 students, all equipped with laptops. I had previously introduced drawing Lewis structures and used the molecules in the "obeying the octet rule" section of the website to provide extra practice. The students were attentive and seemed to enjoy it. The ones who worked faster went on and tried other molecules on their own. I had them all bookmark the page so that they could go back to it for further practice later on. If I had had more time to spend on the topic, I would have assigned pairs of students different molecules from the site to work on.

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