Organic Chemistry is overlooked as a first year chemistry topic in most areas, but it can be a very valuable and fun experience for students. This is an activity that can be used to introduce students to functional groups.
For a recent unit on organic chemistry for my IB students, I tried something new. I gave them a handout with a list of organic compounds (by class/functional group) and a list of mechanisms and reaction types. Their task (in small groups), using either butcher paper or a large whiteboard, was to create a flow chart of reaction pathways.
I have used several different versions of the Silver Mirror or Tollen's Test lab. I am sharing the method that has proven to be the most reliable for me. The solutions should be made fresh, the directions must be followed closely and timing is very important. I like the fact that relatively small amounts of the chemicals are required, but as always you must be vigilant with safety precautions.
In a previous post I talked about an equation balancing lab that I have been doing with my students involving building molecular models. This time I would like to focus on another lab that I have developed for my model kits.