Recognising Organic Families

What are my objectives while studying this topic?

While studying this topic you’ll learn:

  • About what an alkane is and how it is changed by the introduction of functional groups

  • What the functional groups are in certain aliphatic ‘families’

  • How to describe the way a functional group makes the organic compounds unique

Can I get an introduction to this topic?

Yes, why not have a look at the following clips:

How can the functional starter document be used?

The starter document can be used in several ways:

  • Make a key

  • Recognise what the functional groups are

  • Assess which molecule(s) are the odd ones out

  • Print out the document, cut it up and then rearrange the cards

What are the key words to learn and use?

  • Organic

  • Aliphatic

  • Alkane

  • Physical properties

  • Chemical properties

  • Carbon chain

  • Molecular structure

  • Functional group

How long will this topic take to study?

On average you’ll be looking at about three hours of study time.

What are the main activities on this topic?


Make models of the molecules as shown on the starter sheet

What should I keep in mind?

All molecules, apart from propanone, are made from the same basic ethane structure.

Choose four of the functional groups and research the following for each and the alkanes:

  • General structure (a specific structure will have been obtained in the above exercise)

  • Physical properties related to alkanes

  • Chemical properties related to alkanes

  • Effect of increasing chain length (limited to alkanes)

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