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How to create a…. Lewis Dot Structure. …for CH 4. #1 Count the total number of valence electrons in the molecule C: 4 electrons x 1 atom = 4 valence electrons H: 1 electron x 4 atoms = 4 valence electrons Total = 8 valence electrons. How to create a…. Lewis Dot Structure. …for CH 4.

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Lewis dot structure

How to create a…

Lewis Dot Structure

…for CH4

  • #1 Count the total number of valence electrons in the molecule

  • C: 4 electrons x 1 atom = 4 valence electrons

  • H: 1 electron x 4 atoms = 4 valence electrons

    • Total = 8 valence electrons


Lewis dot structure

How to create a…

Lewis Dot Structure

…for CH4

  • #2 Find the number of “octet” electrons for the molecule.

  • C: 8 octet electrons x 1 atom = 8 octet electrons

  • H: 2 octet electrons x 4 atoms = 8 octet electrons

    • Total = 16 octet electrons

    • Rules: Hydrogen always has 2 octet electrons

    • Beryllium always has 4 octet electrons

    • Boron wants 6 for neutral molecules (8 if it’s an anion)


Lewis dot structure

How to create a…

Lewis Dot Structure

…for CH4

#3 Subtract the number of valence electrons from the number of octet electrons to find the number of bonding electrons.

16 – 8 = 8 bonding electrons


Lewis dot structure

How to create a…

Lewis Dot Structure

…for CH4

  • #4 Divide the number of bonding electrons by 2 to find the number of bonds in the molecule.

  • 8 / 2 = 4 bonds in CH4

    • Why 2?

    • Because there are two electrons in every covalent bond!


Lewis dot structure

How to create a…

Lewis Dot Structure

…for CH4

#5 Draw an arrangement of atoms that has the number of bonds you found in step 4. Of course, there are more rules…

Hydrogen and Halogens = bond once!

Oxygen’s family and Beryllium bond twice in neutral molecules

Nitrogen’s family and Boron bond 3 times in neutral molecules

Carbon’s family = bonds 4 times!


Lewis dot structure

How to create a…

Lewis Dot Structure

…for CH4

More hints…

If you bond everything together and you have bonds left over, look for double/triple bonds.

The atom nearest to the left side of the periodic table is probably in the middle of the molecule.