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Bonding Review Worksheet

Valence Electrons
Below are the shell diagrams of the hydrogen, carbon, and fluorine atoms. These diagrams show
both the inner and outer electron shells.

Definition: Valence electrons are those found in the outer shell of an atom and are responsible
for bonding.

Valence electrons 1 4 7

For the following three atoms, complete their shell diagrams. Add in the missing
electrons and clearly state how many valence electrons they contain.

Valence electrons

Definition: Lewis Structures are representations of molecules where each atom’s valence
electrons are specifically shown. The electrons are shown as dots around the atom label.

Below is an example for the hydrogen, carbon, and fluorine atoms. Please fill in the
valence electrons for the remaining atoms below.

Octet Rule
Definition: Covalent bonds involve the sharing of electrons between two atoms. Two electrons
are in each covalent bond. A covalent bond is represented by a line between two atoms.

Definition: The Octet Rule states that atoms in the second row of the periodic table (like carbon,
oxygen, and nitrogen) cannot have more than eight valence electrons (either lone electrons or

For each atom in each of the following molecules, do the following:

• state the sum of the valence electrons for each non-hydrogen atom
• circle any molecule which has an atom that violates the octet rule

Molecular Geometry
Definition: Valence Shell Electron Pair Repulsion (VSEPR) Theory
Electrons in bonds and lone pairs repel each other. These repulsions will influence the overall
shape of molecules.

VSEPR theory is a model to explain how the shapes of molecules are related to the configuration
of electrons (either in lone pairs or in bonds). The electron domains, or regions of electron
density, repel each other. Therefore, atoms in molecules tend to arrange themselves so that the
bonds and lone pairs are as far apart from each other as possible. Shapes of molecules can be
predicted by counting the number of electron domains:
• A lone pair counts as one electron domain
• A single covalent bond to another atom counts as one electron domain
• A double or triple bond to another atom counts as one electron domain. Therefore,
there will be less electron domains than the total number of bonds in molecules
containing double or triple bonds.

If one or more of the electron domains is a lone pair, then the geometry of the molecule has a
different name than the geometry of the electron domains, since the molecule is named by
focusing just on the locations of atoms. For example, some molecular geometry names include
trigonal pyramidal and bent.

3D Geometry

Number of electron domains 2 3 4

Ideal angle between electron

180° 120° 109°

Name of domain geometry linear trigonal planar tetrahedral

tetrahedral (0 lp)
Possible molecular
trigonal planar (0 lp) trigonal pyramidal (1
geometries linear (0 lp)
bent (1 lp) lp)
based on # of lone pairs (lp)
bent (2 lp)

Note: Some atoms can accommodate more than 4 electron domains, if they are not bound by the
octet rule. We will not examine these in this worksheet.
Examples: Water (H2O) and Ethyne (C2H2)

The Lewis structure and a 3D model of water are shown below. The oxygen in water has four
electron domains around it, two sets of lone pairs of electrons (not pictured) and two bonding
pairs of electrons (bonds to hydrogen). The domain geometry around the oxygen is tetrahedral
and the overall molecular geometry is bent.

The Lewis structure and a 3D model of ethyne are shown below. The carbon in ethyne has two
electron domains around it, a single bond to hydrogen and a triple bond to the other carbon. The
domain geometry around the carbon is linear and the overall molecular geometry around the
carbon is linear.

Fill in the rest of the table below.

In your first lab, you will use model kits to build and examine molecular models corresponding
to these structures.

Lewis # of Electron Domain Molecular

Name # of Lone Pairs
Structure Domains Geometry Geometry

4 tetrahedral 2 bent



(for one carbon) (for one carbon) (for one carbon) (for one carbon)

(for one carbon) (for one carbon) (for one carbon) (for one carbon)

Ethyne 2 linear 0 linear
(for one carbon) (for one carbon) (for one carbon) (for one carbon)
Formal Charges
Definition: The formal charge of an atom can be calculated in numerous ways. Below is an easy
to remember equation:

formal charge = (# of valence electrons) – (bonds) – (non-bonding electrons)

Example: [H3COH2]+

The following facts are illustrated by this example:

• All three of the structures below are equivalent
• Hydrogens can either be show explicitly bonded to an atom with a line (C-H) or in a
more condensed notation without lines connecting all atoms to each other (CH).
• -CH3 is equivalent to H3C-.
• For formal charge calculations it is often useful to explicitly draw all bonds to all atoms.
However, for other situations it can be useful to have a shorthand notation to represent

Explicitly drawn hydrogens Condensed hydrogens

The central oxygen atom is showing a formal charge of +1. Let’s look at how this formal charge
was actually calculated:

6 valence electrons (based on the column in the periodic table)

3 bonds (each line explicitly drawn to hydrogen)
2 non-bonding electrons (each dot explicitly drawn on the oxygen)
Formal charge = 6 – 3 – 2 = +1

Calculate the formal charge (FC) of each atom in the following molecules.

The previous questions have introduced you to the idea of atoms forming bonds with their
valence electrons to create molecules. There are common patterns to bonding that we can see in
many of the above examples.

For neutral molecules: Hydrogen and fluorine make one bond, oxygen makes two bonds (and
has two lone pairs), nitrogen makes three bonds (and has one lone pair), and carbon makes four

Add the appropriate number of hydrogen atoms to the molecular fragments below such
that all atoms in each molecule are neutral. Then write the molecular formula below it.


molecular formula H2O

Bond-Line Notation
In bond-line notation:

• Carbon atoms are implied at every corner, intersection or end of a line.

• Hydrogen atoms attached to carbon are implied based on the valency of carbon
(neutral carbon needs four bonds).
• Hydrogen atoms attached to non-carbon atoms must be drawn.
• All other atoms must be explicitly drawn.
• Lone pairs of electrons can either be omitted or explicitly shown.

Note: This notation goes by many other names depending on your textbook, including line-angle
formula, skeletal structure, or stick figure notation.

Fill in the table below:

Bond-line notation Lewis dot structure Molecular formula

Example: C5H12

Science in Practice
In preparation for the experiment, please answer the following questions in your own words.
Don’t worry; these won’t be graded for correctness. They will, however, help your GSI prepare
for the class discussions that accompany the lab.

Think of some examples of models in your life, such as model airplanes or models of the
solar system. How many different ways do we use this word? Make a list of all the
models you can recall.

Now, try to categorize the models you listed above, and compare and contrast these
categories. How are they similar? How are they different?