Teaching functional groups: how to distinguish between isomeric alcohols

Description

To illustrate the differences in reactivity of isomeric alcohols, try using the iodoform demonstration in the video. Follow the discussion scenario in sequence for tips to help your students understand a difficult concept in carbon chemistry. 

Sign up to our Carbon chemistry online CPD course for over 132 different videos, discussions and exercises like this.  

The course has 12 topics from Representing organic structures to Substitution and Addition reactions and will take approximately 12 hours to complete.

You can find further details about the structure of the course in the additional information below. Visit our teacher CPD pages to view our other courses.

teach-functional-groups

Experimental evidence can often provide a helpful aid to recall and understanding, and there are several simple practicals that effectively illustrate the difference between primary, secondary and tertiary compounds.

Consider your answers to the following questions before looking at the resource on the following page.

 

What are the merits of doing the practical first to establish theoretical concepts, or doing the theory first so that the practical makes sense?

 

Have you considered doing the practical on a microscale to save on chemicals and increase safety?

Experimental evidence can often provide a helpful aid to recall and understanding, and there are several simple practicals that effectively illustrate the difference between primary, secondary and tertiary compounds.

Consider your answers to the following questions before looking at the resource on the following page.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

The Carbon chemistry course explores how to teach about the special nature of carbon, some of the important classes of compounds it forms, and their most important reactions. It will help you to help your students understand how the complexity of these compounds leads to variation in molecular structures and spatial arrangements of atoms – the topic of isomerism – and how we can use a variety of methods to find out more about these structures. 

After working through this course you will be able to:

  • confidently teach about the key aspects of carbon chemistry.
  • help students understand and represent structures of carbon compounds;
  • confidently teach students about functional groups, their main specific reactions and the principles that govern reactions involving carbon compounds;
  • help students explain the factors that lead to variation in the physical properties of carbon compounds;
  • confidently teach about organic synthesis and methods for determining the structures of carbon compounds.

Thank you to John Walker and Tim Jolliff for authoring this course.