Polyatomic Ions - A Brief Tutorial

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This website is dedicated to helping students with the sometimes painful process of memorizing the names and formulas of polyatomic ions. First, relevant terminology is introduced, defined and explained. I then seek to clarify the importance of this knowledge by demonstrating its place within the curriculum, specifically how it will be used by the student in the future. Several memorization aids are included as well. Lastly, there is a flash-card type exercise that students can use to practice identifying the names and formulas for these compounds. Roughly twenty polyatomic ions have been selected for this site. These are the ones that I have my students memorize each year.


The Ions


Plus 2 Charge

Plus 1 Charge

Negative 1 Charge

Negative 2 Charge

Negative 3 Charge


I generally give students a "heads-up" about this requirement a week or two early. Practice quizzes are often given prior to the actual quizzes. The practice exercise can be accessed from the last page of the site (Practice.) It's a tool that teachers could use in class as well.

© 2007 - Andrew J. Cerniglia