Bonding and properties

Worksheets and lesson ideas to challenge students aged 11 to 16 to think hard about bonding, structure and physical properties (GCSE and Key Stage 3)

Before you teach students about physical properties it is useful to re-visit the particle model and latent heat. Do students understand that when you heat a substance the temperature does not just increase? What is happening? Once students understand that energy is being used to pull particles apart, the concept of bonds and forces makes much more sense. 

What do they know already about bonding and properties?

Bonding and melting points

A simple demonstration to show students that substances have different melting points

Use this simple thinking task to assess what your students know about chemical bonding. Students look at a picture of a swimming pool and list the different types of bonding and structure they can ‘see’. This would serve as a good starting point to assess what your students already know about bonding and structure at GCSE and A Level. (PDF)

Explaining physical properties

GCSE worksheet to explain bonding, structure and properties. This activity, designed by Philippa Franks, supports students to write explanations of properties by describing bonding and structure. The table can be cut up and given to students to match up or left intact as a revision aid. (PDF)

Explaining melting temperatures

GCSE worksheet on explaining melting temperature using ideas of bonding. Students make predictions about the bonding within a substance based on its physical properties. They use a hierarchy of explanations to explain why substances have different melting temperatures. (PDF)

GCSE activity to help students observe what happens when we heat giant and simple covalent substances. Students often cannot see the difference between what happens when you melt solid water and melt diamond. Here, students use the interactive white board to pull apart models of simple and giant compounds. This is a powerful technique to show the difference between breaking bonds and pulling apart intermolecular forces. (PDF)

  1. Bonding and physical properties
  2. Covalent bonding
  3. Intermolecular forces
  4. Ionic bonding
  5. Metallic bonding