Lesson Plan: VSEPR Chemistry

This lesson plan includes the objectives, prerequisites, and exclusions of the lesson teaching students how to identify the shape of molecules using VSEPR.


Students will be able to

  • describe the concept of valence shell electron pair repulsion (VSEPR),
  • recall how to draw Lewis structures of simple molecules,
  • use VSEPR to predict the shapes and bond angles of simple molecules,
  • identify bonding pairs and lone pairs of electrons within molecules,
  • apply the AXE Method to assign bonding pairs and lone pairs and determine the steric number,
  • link the number of bonding pairs and lone pairs to the shape of the molecule.


Students should already be familiar with

  • the formation of ionic and covalent bonds,
  • basic knowledge of chemical structures,
  • electrostatic forces between like charges,
  • the use of solid and dashed wedges to represent bonds in three dimensions.


Students will not cover

  • the background or development of VSEPR theory,
  • shapes of molecules with steric numbers higher than 6.

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