59 Structure and bonding Post 16 Working in groupsSelf assessmentPeer assessmentSharing objectives and criteriaQuestioningUsing feedbackUsing tests

In this activity, students match cards that describe properties, structures, bonding and particles with particular substances.

Learning objectives

Students will understand:

  • how the properties of substances depend upon their structure and bonding.

Sequence of activities

Demonstrate how sodium chloride can be melted by heating it with two Bunsen burners or a Meker burner in a Pyrex glass tube.

Relate this to the learning objective and the activities for the session.

Arrange the students into groups of four and give each group a set of:

  • Substance cards
  • Property cards
  • Structure cards
  • Bonding cards
  • Particle cards.

Give each student a Structure and bonding summary grid.

Circulate and support the groups as they:

  • discuss and choose Property, Structure, Bonding and Particle cards to match each Substance card
  • write their choices in the summary grid
  • ascribe a, b, c or d to each student in the group.

Arrange the students in new groups so that all students labelled a are together etc.

Support the new groups as they:

  • compare the summary sheets from the original groups
  • identify and discuss any differences in summary sheets.

Ask students to return to their original groups.

Give a Structure and bonding explanation sheet to each student.

Ask the groups to:

  • summarise the discussions from the groups they have been in
  • modify the summary grid where appropriate
  • describe the reasons for the properties of each substance in terms of its structure and bonding on the Structure and bonding explanation sheet
  • hand in their explanations.
Give written feedback on each individual Structure and bonding explanation sheet. As well as crediting correct understanding, help students to take any further steps they may need.

Assessment for learning commentary

The card matching is intrinsically evaluative. Students have to look at their own understanding for every attempted card match.

Students then review their own work with two groups of colleagues. This has the benefit of exposing them to additional views, and requires them to defend views. This increases confidence.

Where the teacher has not been able to form an assessment or offer support, while circulating during the group work, the written feedback gives another opportunity to do this.



For each student

Download Word Download PDF Structure and bonding summary grid
Download Word Download PDF Structure and bonding explanation sheet

For each group of students

Download Word Download PDF Set of Substance cards
Download Word Download PDF Set of Property cards
Download Word Download PDF Set of Structure cards
Download Word Download PDF Set of Bonding cards
Download Word Download PDF Set of Particle cards

Note: Sets of cards can be copied onto different coloured card to help tell the difference between types of cards. To differentiate the task, students can be supplied with exactly the number of different cards they require or be given extra cards and told that they will not have to use all of them.


For the demonstration

  • Sodium chloride
  • Pyrex tube
  • Two Bunsen burners or a Meker burner.


Download Word Download PDF Summary grid answers
Download Word Download PDF Explanation answers