Reflection: Bonding Inquiry Activity - Section 4: Elaborate


One teaching challenge that I encountered in this lesson was students grappling with the idea that how can something be positive if it is losing an electron.  I tackled this challenge by explaining in the simplest terms by say that it is the opposite of what you think in math.  We are not adding and subtracting in the traditional sense, but instead just looking at the net overall charge.  I asked them if an extra negative charge is brought on, what charge did the atom obtain? 

Most students will respond, a negative charge.

To further illustrate this I diagrammed a sodium Bohr model with 11+ in the center and 11- in the electron shells and show one electron leaving with only 10- left.  After this they can see that there is one more positive than negative.  Illustrating this also showed how losing an electron can achieve and octet which some students struggle with as well.


  How Can Something Be Positive When Subtracting
  How Can Something Be Positive When Subtracting
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Bonding Inquiry Activity

Unit 4: Unit 2-Periodic Table and Bonding
Lesson 5 of 12

Objective: SWBAT differentiate between metals and nonmetals with regard to number of valence electrons, electron behavior and ability to become an anion or cation.

Big Idea: Ionic and covalent bonds result from the gain, loss or sharing of electrons.

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