Support for
Edexcel International GCSE Chemistry
Edexcel Certificate in Chemistry

Links for Chapter 18: Introducing Organic Chemistry

Video clips and animations

Naming alkanes

A limited test of your ability to name simple alkanes

Isomers of hexane

A talk-through of the five structural isomers of hexane. The video names the straight chain version as n-hexane. In fact, this is a part of an older naming system, and the n- is no longer used. It also leaves gaps in the names. Modern usage normally runs everything into a single word - for example, "2-methylpentane" rather than "2-methyl pentane". YouTube

Instructions for practical work

There is no obvious practical work to do here, but in its place students should be allowed to play with atomic models to make sense of isomerism and the relationship between drawn structures and space-filling models. Personally, I am a big fan of Molymod models, which are cheap and rugged, and I would highly recommend a class set of these - at least one between two. There is a very cheap set with just 4 carbons, 10 hydrogens and a couple of oxygens and chlorines, that would cope with most of the molecules you need for GCSE purposes. Sets could be combined to make slightly bigger ones. A Google search should throw up local suppliers. If you are interested in the cheap sets, include the code MMP-AT2 in your search.

An hour or so of structured play with these (or something similar) will make an unbelievable difference to a student's feel for organic chemistry.

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© Jim Clark 2009