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Ionic Speed Dating

Deanna Cullen's picture
Sun, 04/07/2013 - 14:42 -- Deanna Cullen

This activity is used as a reinforcement activity following my use of JCE Classroom Activity #113: An Interlocking Building Block Activity in Writing Formulas of Ionic Compounds. It could be used as a stand alone activity to support writing ionic formulas and names.

Concepts: 

Writing formulas and names of ionic compounds.  Combining ions to form a neutral formula unit. There must be a specific cation and a specific anion for each formula unit.

Time required: 

Twenty minutes.

Materials: 

Blue building blocks to represent cations & Red building blocks to represent anions.

For one set each of A – D as described in the table below, you will need

  • Blue: three 3 x 1, nine 2 x 1, nine 1 x 1
  • Red: six 3 x 1, eight 2 x 1, nine 1 x 1
Procedure: 

Work with a partner. Create a table like the one below. (A sample set of data has been provided.)

Set CATION # of cation(s) ANION # of anion(s) FORMULA NAME
X Aluminum 2 Oxygen 3 Al2O3 Aluminum Oxide
             
             

There are several stations set up around the room. You will have two minutes per station to find ions that work together to make compounds.

Cations = Blue    Anions = Red

  • Select a cation and an anion from the ions provided.
  • Write the symbol for the cation in the CATION column.
  • Write the symbol for the anion in the ANION column. (Remember that ions have charges…so you should show them with their symbol.)
  • Put your cations and anions together so that they make a neutral compound (their charges add up to zero). Every formula unit will have a red line of blocks and a blue line of blocks.
  • Record the number of cation pieces and the number of anion pieces that were required to make the compound.
  • Write the formula of the compound you put together in the FORMULA column.
  • Disassemble the formula unit. You may use these ions in new combinations.
  • When time is up, move to the next set of ions.

Make sure that both of your names are on the table you submit for a grade.

Preparation: 

one hour to create the sets using building blocks, baggies and permanent marker.

Attribution: 

Ruddick, Kristie R. and Parrill, Abby L. An Interlocking Building Block Activity in Writing Formulas of Ionic Compounds, Journal of Chemical Education 2012, 89 (11), pp 1436-1438.

Chemistry Domain: 
Chemistry Topic: