For your enjoyment, we present lists of chemically-related words that end in the letters “-cation” but do not actually refer to the positively-charged chemical species. The lists are available for download in the Supporting Information.
While students usually do well with naming binary ionic compounds of fixed charge, many students struggle with naming ionic compounds that contain ions of variable charge. This activity uses a technique often found in humanities classes, a gallery walk, as a guided inquiry experience harnessing real-life applications of several sets of related compounds to address many common misconceptions and lead students to discover the meaning of the Roman numerals when naming and writing formulas for these compounds.
This creative activity will help engage your students in chemistry nomenclature.
Do you require your students to learn all the element names and symbols? Do your students struggle with chemical nomenclature, chemical equations, or stoichiometry? You may want to consider getting them back to the basics.
Nomenclature is a tough topic. I tell students that we are living in the land of symbols while we study nomenclature. It is important but it is difficult to get them excited. I started fishing for resources. The American Association for Chemistry Teachers (AACT) has been a great resource to help me try new things.
Organic Nomenclature is a drill-and-practice tutorial on naming simple organic compounds and drawing structures consisting of multiple-choice questions.