And the Name Is....Naming Chemical Compounds

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SWBAT write the chemical formulas for ionic compounds.

Big Idea

In this lesson students will use interactive simulations to review bonding and the naming of chemical compounds.


5 minutes

As the students enter the room, they take out their Chromebooks and are directed to an activity on PBS LearningMedia.  For this activity, they view a song about bonding and are then required to answer two questions. 

 As the students work, I review their answers online. In this video I describe my use of Classroom as a learning management system to facilitate technology use in my classroom. 


25 minutes

After a review of ionic and covalent bonding through a discussion of the song the students listened to, I have the students open the first of two simulations.  While the simulation is on the students' screens, I use the SMARTBoard to demonstrate for the students how to complete the simulations and then they use the simulations on their Chromebooks.  

The students complete the last few slides of the simulation on their own while I circulate through the room making sure the students understand how compounds are named.  Once the students finish, we open the second simulation and go through it together as well.   Each simulation contains questions for the students to answer on their own.  

This is a video of one of the students answering questions on the simulation while I ask him why he selected that specific name for the formula.  


While reviewing the simulations, we discuss the patterns that can be identified when naming compounds (Cross Cutting Concept Patterns - Patterns in rates of change and other numerical relationships can provide information about natural and human designed systems).

After finishing both of the simulations, I hand out a polyatomic ion chart.  I review the steps for naming compounds with the students by reviewing the information covered in the two simulations. We also discuss the computation necessary to derive the names of ionic compounds (NGSS SP5).


5 minutes

The students open their homework and begin working on naming the compounds listed as a form of independent practice.  I continue to circulate through the room to ensure that students understand the concept.  

In this example of student work, the student has created a chart to help her remember the steps in the naming process.  She uses the phrase write equation instead of write formula, which could be an error in writing or could demonstrate a lack of understanding of what the final product should be.

Wrap up

5 minutes

Near the end of class, I lead a brief class discussion about ionic and covalent bonding and ask the students to demonstrate their understanding of how to name compounds and write chemical formulas by writing their answers on the board and explaining how they arrived at those answers. During this discussion I am very careful to ask students why they complete certain steps.  By doing this, I am checking that they understand the reasoning behind the process of writing the chemical formulas, rather than just arbitrarily following a set of steps.