Teaching Strategies

Topic Strategy Title Description
Bring Their Own Model Kit

Particularly for the VSEPR theory, models of any kind are great. Tell the students, 'Buy a model kit.' Because it has to be something three-dimensional. They need to bring their own models in so they can do it themselves.

Orbital Analogies

Use an analogy for filling orbitals, such as climbing up a ladder or building a house from the bottom up.

Bus Analogy

In hybridisation, we have the idea that the energy at the atomic levels are changing - they're not going to be the same as an isolated atom on its own. Think about if you were sitting next to someone on the bus. You would sit there differently than if you were sitting there alone. If you're the...

Kid's Rooms Analogy

An analogy for talking about Hund’s rule (where the p orbitals fill up) is that it’s like parents deciding where siblings will sleep. If you have enough rooms you put each person in one room because that's peaceful for everybody and everybody prefers that. If you have an extra child you have a...

Ball on Steps Analogy

An analogy in quantisation of energy states takes advantage of the fact that in many lecture theatres there are shallow steps going down to the front. Think of a ball rolling down the steps. It can't stop halfway down the steps. It seems like a really simplistic way of thinking of it, but in...