Structure and bonding pre-16

Classroom resources featuring activities from our Structure and bonding pre-16 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 close-up photograph of melted chocolate being poured over a pile of chocolate pieces against a light brown background

The structure and properties of chocolate

In association with

Investigate how melting chocolate changes its structure and affects properties like taste, texture and melting point. Includes kit list and safety instructions.

A sample of solid yellow lead iodide on a glass dish against a white background

A solid–solid reaction between lead nitrate and potassium iodide

In association with

Use this demonstration with kit list and safety instructions to prove that two solids can react together, making lead iodide from lead nitrate and potassium iodide.

An image of a yellow substance dissolving and diffusing in a clear liquid

Diffusion in liquids

In association with

Demonstrate that diffusion takes place in liquids in this practical using lead nitrate and potassium iodide. Includes kit list and safety instructions.


Chemical misconceptions II: Spot the bonding

This activity asks learners to explore their knowledge of different bonding types, through diagrams of 18 bonds. 


Chemical misconceptions II: Interactions

Support students to explore more forms of interactions between bonds, identify, and explain them. 

A small heap of purified yellow sulfur powder against a neutral background

Allotropes of sulfur

In association with

Use this practical to explore the changes in the colour and consistency of sulfur as you heat it, melt it and eventually boil it. Includes kit list and safety instructions.

A piece of the Group 1 metal sodium in a petri dish against a neutral background

Heating Group 1 metals in air and in chlorine

In association with

Use this demonstration to illustrate the reactions of lithium, sodium and potassium in air and in chlorine. Includes kit list, video and safety instructions.

A close up of someone using a spoon to add sulfur powder to a weighing boat on top of a balance

Iron and sulfur reaction

In association with

This demonstration or class experiment shows the exothermic reaction of iron and sulphur. Includes kit list and safety instructions.


Chemical misconceptions II: Hydrogen fluoride

Explore hydrogen fluoride, discuss its chemical reaction and encourage learners to think about why the reaction takes place. 


Chemical misconceptions II: Chemical stability

Explore seven triads of chemical species and understand the stability between the three examples.


Trends in reactivity in the periodic table

This could be used to follow up some work on the periodic table where the trends in reactivity in groups 1 and 7 have been identified. It can be used as a differentiated activity for the more able students within a group.

Jets of liquid cover image

Jets of liquids: the effect of charged plastic on water

Polar covalent bonds, and their affects on water are explored in this open-ended problem.


Chemical misconceptions II: An analogy for the atom

Discover more around the solar system analogy for the structure of an atom. Looking closer at their similarities and differences. 

A photograph of purple vapour against a plain background

Reacting aluminium and iodine

In association with

Illustrate the spectacular reaction between aluminium and iodine with water as a catalyst in this demonstration. Includes kit list and safety instructions.

Sand explosion

Making silicon and silanes from sand

Create silicon in your classroom using just sand and magnesium. This exothermic practical will show learners the nuances of heat based reactions and how to perform them safely. Kit list and safety instructions included. 

Translucent crystals of sodium thiosulfate on a red-orange surface

Supercooling and the energetics of freezing

In association with

Explore what happens when a liquid is supercooled using sodium thiosulfate in this class practical. Includes kit list and safety instructions.


Ionic bonding

An explanation often given for ionic bonding is that atoms lose or gain electrons to achieve noble gas configurations. This activity evaluates that as a complete explanation.


Covalent bonding

This activity seeks to develop an understanding of covalent bonding in terms of energetic stability rather than full shells.