Every summer during my Introduction to Organic Chemistry elective, I ask the students to memorize a small catalog of 21 reactions that they then apply in various scenarios. One of the ways I attempt to help them to make connections and build that knowledge is via the use of a ‘Star of Reaction‘. A Star of Reaction shows the links between various compounds and the reagents and conditions required to achieve the transformations. A typical ‘star’ (as part of a worksheet I use) is shown below.
It’s not an easy task to memorize all of the reactions, especially since I ask the students to do it VERY quickly, but they always rise to the occasion and do really well. I often tell them that the catalog that I ask them to consume is ridiculously small compared to what they will be asked to in many Organic 101 classes, and a tweet from yesterday (below) reminded me of the sheer volume of reactions that are typically studied at the next level.
Here’s the document it links to. Enjoy!