Animator Flash Point #2: Ion Matching

October 5, 2017
Flash PointsJulia Winter

Animator Flash Point: Ion matching exercises

Check out our previous Flash Point posts here.

Ion Matching

This activity is aimed at introductory chemistry courses and learning the concept of ionic formula units. There are 3 different templates in this Flash Point group: one with just charges, one with letters and charges, and the final one with chemical symbols and charges. The concept here is to have students generate “puzzles” by putting together particle groups in which the overall charge adds to zero.

The first puzzles have been generated for you, but a more interesting method is to have students create their own ion-matching puzzles for other students to solve. With Animator cloud-sharing, one group of students can challenge another (across the room or across the world!) with their own puzzles.  They can create their own groups to share these challenges with each other. (See video on creating groups)

Ion Matching Flash Point Prompt

In this Flash Point, construct an animation as the ions are put back together to re-form the original groups. Hit the plus button each time a group is formed to see the animation take place.

Join the Ion Matching Group with the Group Code: ion_matching

Within this group you can access 3 different templates plus an example puzzle to help you with this exercise. Save your new puzzles to this group and check out what other people have created!

Example questions:

1)    With the charges only template, is there a way to keep track of how many of each type of particle is in the group?

2)    With the letter + charges template, can you use subscripts to “count” the different particles in the groups?

3)    With the chemical symbols template, how can the total number of atoms in the group be shown in the formula? In other words, how do you take care of the polyatomic ions in your formula.

You can add your own particles and ions, even add waters of hydration to your formula. This exercise could be used multiple times as a warm-up exercise to practice nomenclature – put together the formula units and name them, or vice versa!


When you have completed your animations, make sure to upload to the Ion Matching Group. We would love to see new uses of the Animator particle generator!

(HAT TIP : Thanks to Doug Ragan of Hudsonville High School in Michigan for the inspiration of this activity from his post on ChemEd X about Animator)

Co- Author

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