Intermolecular forces teaching resources

Worksheets and lesson ideas to challenge students aged 11 to 16 to think hard about intermolecular forces and simple molecules (GCSE and Key Stage 3)

Forces between molecules?! This can be a very abstract and difficult concept for students (and teachers) to master. This incredible video of water molecules in a low-gravity environment poses lots of questions. Can you drink the water? Would it hurt if it hit you? Could it damage the plane’s electronics?

Hopefully students will observe that water molecules tend to ‘stick’ together. This can lead into a discussion about what these forces are and whether all molecules would behave in the same way.  

Use this thinking task on heating curves to introduce the concept of forces between molecules.

Help students see the difference between melting giant covalent substances and melting simple molecular substances.

Thinking task on hydrogen bonding and the properties of water. Students complete a series of practical tasks to observe just how special water is as a molecule. Students explain their observations with reference to Hydrogen Bonding/ intermolecular forces.

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

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