Ionic Review and Mineral Project

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Students will be able to explain how ionic compounds are formed, name ionic compounds, and give characteristics of ionic compounds through completing a group project and completing a review worksheet.

Big Idea

Ionic compounds have specific characteristics and are formed when metals transfer electrons to non-metals.


After the ionic lesson it was evident that students needed more review of Ionic Compounds. 

Student have already learned about bonding in the first three lessons of the unit (Bonding Inquiry, Ionic, Covalent, and Metallic Bonds,and Ionic Bonds: Formation and Naming).   

In this lesson students are given a chance to review Ionic Compounds through performing a group Mineral Project and Bonding Review Worksheet.

I like this lesson because students are able to see a real-world example of Ionic Compounds through exploring a mineral.

  • This lesson aligns with NGSS Performance Expectation: HS-PS1-2: Construct and revise an explanation for the outcome of a simple chemical reaction based on the outermost electron states of atoms, trends in the periodic table, and knowledge of the patterns of chemical properties.
  • This lesson also aligns with NGSS Science Practice 8:Obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information.  It does so because students are doing and presenting their research regarding a mineral.

Within this lesson there are several resources used for the mineral project:

  1. Access to computers or Ipads to do research.
  2. Markers and construction paper for their project.
  3. Minerals for students to observe.

These are not all necessary, but helpful as you will read about in the Elaborate Part I Section.

Elaborate Part I

60 minutes

For the first part of the lesson, students work with groups to complete a mineral project. 

I have students work in their table groups of four.  See Unit 1 lesson 1: First Day of Class with information about how I form these groups.

  1. I first assign the project to students by passing out one Mineral Project Paper per group.
  2. I then review the major parts of the project by reading through the paper with the students
  3. I have each group go up to one of the class computers so that they can begin their research and choose a mineral.
  4. I tell students that, "Each group will use a different mineral so when they choose a mineral they should have one student come and get the mineral to claim it for their group". I have a set of the minerals in plastic containers  which can be seen in this picture.  I have accumulated these minerals over the years, some of which are from Flinn Scientific, a supplier that sells mineral kits.
  5. I also tell students that they can use the markers and construction paper for their projects.
  6. I give students about 40 minutes to work on their project in class.
  7. As students work I walk around to ensure that they are on task and working together.  For this particular project I have students work in their "table groups" so they are familiar with how each other works and tend to work well together.   If I find that they are not all participating as I walk around then I suggest that they switch roles with who is on the computer or writing on their group project etc.  I will also check for understanding from students by asking questions such as, "so what is the proper name for your mineral?"  or "how did you determine where the mineral is located" to help ensure all students are participating and learning. 
  8. After 40 minutes I stop students and have each group share their project with the class.  I have students stay at their stations and then each group holds up their poster and talks about what they learned about their mineral.
  9. I then collect the projects and have students begin to work on the review worksheet.


Elaborate Part II

45 minutes

When students are done with their projects I have them work on a Bonding Review Worksheet

I allow them to continue to work in their groups. 

I tell them to make sure to look back at their notes from the previous lessons in the unit if they are stuck, and if they still need help to then ask me for help.

The most common questions students have include:

  1. Part I Question 2: What types of bonds conduct electricity?
  2. Part II Questions 3 and 4 with what anions and cations are formed from.
  3. Part II Questions 8 and 9 with solving for what X would be.
  4. Part II Question 11 with writing names with roman numerals.

As students complete the review I have them check their answers with the Bonding Review Answer Key.