Organic chemistry

Classroom resources featuring activities from our Organic Chemistry professional development course for teachers

This collection is most valuable to those who have attended this course and wish to put into practice with their students some of the ideas and activities presented as part of that event. Please note that this list is not exhaustive; not all trainer activities have a corresponding classroom resource. In some circumstances there is variation between the training resource and classroom resource.

A 3D rendered illustration of ethanol molecules in white against a grey background

The conversion of alcohols to halogenoalkanes

In association with

Try this practical or demonstration to produce bromoethane in a substitution reaction between ethanol and phosphorus tribromide. Includes kit list and safety instructions.

A photograph of a Bunsen burner, tripod and gauze in a laboratory

Nucleophilic substitution reaction mechanisms | 16-18 years

Help your students explore the mechanism for an organic nucleophilic substitution reaction using this lesson plan with activities for 16–18 year olds.

A close-up photograph of a laboratory well-plate with 24 wells, containing an orange-yellow solution

A microscale oxidation of alcohols

In association with

Use this practical to investigate the oxidation reactions of various alcohols with acidified potassium dichromate. Includes kit list and safety instructions.

A photograph showing two people in lab coats; the person in focus is carefully smelling the contents of a test tube

Making esters from alcohols and acids

In association with

Investigate the reactions between a range of alcohols and acids by producing a variety of esters in this class experiment. Includes kit list and safety instructions.

A variety of glassware and containers of sodium hydroxide and phenolphthalein indicator in a laboratory

A microscale acid–base titration

In association with

Use microscale titration to complete an acid–base neutralisation with sodium hydroxide in this class practical. Includes kit list and safety instructions.

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Using a microscale conductivity meter

Let your students test which solids and solutions/liquids conduct electricity with a microscale conductivity meter

Four glass containers with bromothymol blue indicator solution displaying different colours, including red, yellow, green and blue

Electrolysis using a microscale Hoffman apparatus

Investigate the electrolysis of sodium sulfate solution using a microscale Hoffman apparatus in this class practical. Includes kit list and safety instructions.

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Formation of TCP (2,4,6-trichlorohydroxybenzene)

Prepare a distinctive-smelling sample of TCP by reacting hydroxybenzene (phenol) with chlorine gas

A close-up photograph of a pile of white aspirin pills on a blue paper background

Synthesis of aspirin on a microscale

Use this class practical to produce aspirin in a microscale esterification reaction using phosphoric acid as a catalyst. Includes kit list and safety instructions.

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The microscale synthesis of azo dyes

Create fabric dye by synthesising an azo dye and using it to change the colour of a piece of cotton

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Molecular model misconceptions

Let us take a closer look at the suitability of using molecular models to teach the determination of chemical formulae. 

Using a pipette to add ethanol to acidified sodium dichromate solution for the Oxidation of ethanol experiment

Oxidation of ethanol

In association with

In this class practical, ethanol is oxidised by acidified sodium dichromate to form ethanal and then ethanoic acid. Includes kit list and safety instructions.