Grade Levels: 3-5, 6-8

This lesson plan, adaptable for grades 5-8, features the game Collisions: Ionic Bonding. The game challenges students to build ionic compounds that satisfy target ratios. As they move up levels, the challenges become increasingly more difficult.

Lesson Plan Common Core State Standards Alignments

Lesson Plan Next Generation Science Standards Alignments

Students will:

  1. Explore the interactions between positive and negative ions.
  2. Discover how positive and negative ions combine together to create ionic compounds.
  3. Extend their learning through analyzing specific ionic compounds and determining the compound name, cation, anion, lewis structure, and molecular mass.



anion, cation, chemical formula, formula mass, ion, ionic bond, ionic compound, Lewis Structure


This lesson plan features a digital chemistry game--Collisions: Ionic Bonding--developed by our partner, Playmada. Designed to give students a deepened understanding of fundamental chemistry concepts, the game invites students to explore how ions combine to form ionic compounds. As they move through the levels, students will learn about cation-anion attraction, neutrality, and ionic ratios.

Review the Collisions: Ionic Bonding Game Guide to familiarize yourself with the levels of play and the concepts covered. Play the game to plan how you will adapt it to your students' needs. If students will be working in small groups, review tips on Setting Cooperative Gaming Expectations.

Print out class sets of Collisions: Ionic Bonding Quest.

Build background or reinforce topics with these BrainPOP movies: Ions and Chemical Bonds,

Lesson Procedure:

  1. Review what ions are and how they form by showing the BrainPOP movie Ions on the whiteboard. If time allows, you may also choose to show the movie Chemical Bonds, which explores the fundamentals of chemical bonds.  
  2. Prompt students to predict what may happen when positive charges interact with other positive charges, negative charges interact with other negative chargers, and positive charges interact with negative charges. Review with students that an ionic bond is a chemical bond that results due to the attraction between oppositely charged ions.
  3. Tell students that today they’ll play a game in which they’ll combine ions to form ionic compounds. Direct them to Collisions: Ionic Bonding and prompt students to enter Challenge Level 1. Allow students to play through Challenge Level 6. If necessary, model how to play Level 1.
  4. As the class begins to play, distribute Collisions: Ionic Bonding Quest to each student or pair. After they complete each Challenge Level, instruct students to record information about their submitted answers in Mission 1 of the Quest. Mission 1 prompts students to label the positive ion and ion charge and negative ion and ion charge for each completed target.
  5. After the completion of all Challenge Levels, have students complete Mission 2 of the Collisions Ionic Bonding Quest. Mission 2 prompts students to further analyze the ionic compounds created in Challenge Level 1 through Challenge Level 6. For example, students must determine the chemical formula, compound name, cation, anion, Lewis Structure, and formula mass for the compounds they correctly created during gameplay.
  6. Bring the class together to reflect on their gameplay and completion of the Ionic Bonding Quest. Have them share what new information they learned about ionic bonding. Students may also share SnapThought they may have taken during gameplay.