Lesson Plan

Predicting and Drawing Molecular Geometry and Shape

Students use iPads to build molecules and create multi-media presentations
Jeff B.
Classroom teacher
Cerritos College
Norwalk, CA
Show More
My Subjects Science

Students will be able to...

Predict and draw molecular geometry

Predict hybridization and bond types

Create a presentation (screencast) of their molecule


Grades 10 - 12
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Hook

Show the students a video on the chemistry of morphine from Periodic Videos.


Ask students why each molecule has a particular set of properties.  Why does morphine have the properties it has?  Is it possible to know which molecules might have similar properties?  What causes properties?

2 Direct Instruction

Activity: Creating

Teacher models drawing the various kinds of molecules and shapes. Students practice along with teacher



Student Instructions

Draw the molecular shapes in their notes as the teacher draws them on the board

3 Guided Practice

Teacher demonstrates how to use the app Odyssey VSEPR Theory

Student Instructions

Students  use app Odyssey VSEPR Theory to visualize the geomitery of various molecules and ions.

Students measure bond angles with the app

Students work through questions that are embeded within the app.  They use the various molecular models to answer questions about geometry

Students take screen shots of their molecules for later use.

4 Guided Practice (part 2)

Teacher demonstrates how to use the app Mols Editor on the iPad to draw assigned molecules.


Student Instructions

Students are assigned a molecule to draw

Students draw their assigned molecule on paper and on the app Mols Editor labeling all angles and types of hybridized orbitals.

Students take a screen shot of their molecule for later use

Students are assigned a molecule to draw on paper using using a VSEPR theory drawing, a Valence Bond threory contour diagram and a box diagram.

5 Independent Practice

Teacher gives  brief instructions on using the screencast apps Educreations and Showme.  

Teacher assigns students to make a digital presentation explaining how to draw the three dimensional structure of their assigned molecule.  

Student Instructions

Using the iPad and the screencast app of your choice draw and explain how to draw the three dimensional structure of your assigned molecule.  

Valence Bond Theory Assignment

You will be assigned one molecule.  You are to create three “screencasts” on the iPad.  Screencasts should be about 3 minutes long. The first screencast you will

Draw and explain how to draw the VSEPR diagram of your molecule.  

Draw the VSEPR diagram showing three dimensional shape with wedges and dashes also show the angles and shape.  Explain how the repulsion causes the angles.  

Draw and explain how to draw the box diagram showing any promotion and hybridization. 

Draw the box diagrams showing the ground state, excited state and  hybridized state for your assigned problem as shown in class.  Show the VSEPR structure.  Label all orbitals and show the relative energy of each.  State the type of hybridization (sp2 etc.)  

Draw and explain how to draw the contour diagram of your molecule. 

Draw the contour diagram for the assigned molecule. Label angles and label orbitals.  No credit will be given if drawn incorrectly.  Show orbital overlap correctly and show electrons.  Make all drawings large.  State the shape of the molecule. 

Include in your screencast a picture (screenshot) of your molecule made using the 3D Mols editor app.

Create an Educreations or Showme account through those apps on the iPad.

When you are done please complete the following Google form giving the URL of your screencast:


6 Wrap up: Students share their presentations

Teacher instructs students to share their uploaded Screencasts. These screencasts created on Showme or Educreations apps can either be uploaded onto the website of the app or uploaded to YouTube or Google Drive. Students could also create a QR code that would link directly to their presentation.  In this way students can have a "Digital Poster Session."

Here are some example presentations





Student Instructions

Students share their screencasts and teach the rest of the class.