Nomenclature and Formulas

Chemical Bonding and Naming with Nora Walsh

In this ChemBasics Talk, Nora Walsh offers everything necessary to plan a unit on the topic of chemical bonding and naming including introductory and discovery activities, manipulative activities, practice problems, her favorite online teaching resources and more. Watch the recording and access resources she shared.

Using a Gallery Walk inquiry activity to guide students through naming binary ionic compounds with variable charges

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.

A Manipulative Paper Tool for Teaching Organic Nomenclature: Part 3- Common Names of Major Classes of Organic Compounds

This is the third in a series of classroom activities using paper tools to teach organic nomenclature. This post covers the two common naming systems used for carboxylic acids and derivatives, and second for alcohols, thiols, ethers, amines, and ketones.

An Upcycled Teaching Aid for Ionic Formulas

Determining the empirical formulas of ionic compounds based on charge balance is often a challenge for beginning chemistry students. Many visual aides have been developed for this purpose, from repurposing commercial interlocking bricks to custom 3-D printed bricks. This article describes yet another option– upcycled can carriers.

Review Lab - Better than a Worksheet

It can be difficult to engage students in reviewing for semester exams by using worksheets or practicing problems on the whiteboard. If you are looking to change up your review plans, you might consider using a lab activity that provides opportunity to revisit many of the topics that need to be covered.


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.