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ACTIVITY in Naming Compounds, Molecular Formula, Precipitate, Ionic Bonding, Ions. Last updated December 19, 2022.


In this activity, students are assigned an ion and form bonds with their classmates, recording the formula and name of the compound they created.

Grade Level

Middle school


By the end of this lesson, students should be able to

correctly write compound formulas in correct ratios by balancing charges on ions.

correctly write compound names using ionic naming rules with correct endings.

Chemistry Topics

This lesson supports students’ understanding of

  • Ionic bonding
  • Naming compounds


Teacher Preparation: 1 hour

Lesson: 15 minutes


  • Student handouts
  • Bonding cards


No specific safety precautions are needed for this experiment.

Teacher Notes

  • This sections includes any information the teacher might need, including
  • Print and laminate the bonding cards prior to class. You may also want to attach strings to the cards so the students can wear them around their necks.
  • Make sure there are enough bonding cars for each student to have one.
  • It is helpful to have an equal number of cations and anions so that every student will have a partner.

For the Student



  1. You will need your periodic table for this activity.
  2. Select ONE tag from the front of the room.
  3. Are you a cation (+) or an anion (-)? Record your answer in the table provided.
  4. Record your element symbol and oxidation number in the table provided.
  5. Are you a metal, nonmetal, or metalloid? Record this in the table provided.
  6. Find a person with an ion with an opposite charge.
  7. Record your partner’s element symbol and oxidation number in the table provided.
  8. Record whether their element is a metal, nonmetal, or metalloid.
  9. You and your classmate have now “bonded”! Write the compound formula for your bonded elements with correct subscripts.
  10. Write the name of your new compound with the correct –ide ending.
  11. Find new partners. Repeat this procedure 2 more times.
  12. After your third bond, check your work and get a new tag. Repeat this process with your new element.
Cation (+) Metal Nonmetal Metalloid Anion (-) Metal Nonmetal Metalloid Formula Compound Name
Get a new bonding card