Ionic bonding teaching resources

Worksheets and lesson ideas to challenge students aged 11 to 16 to think hard about ions and ionic bonding (GCSE and Key Stage 3)

When introducing the very abstract concept of ionic bonding, it can be useful to show students an ionic substance being made. In this clip, students see sodium metal and chlorine gas reacting vigorously to form a new substance: sodium chloride. The reaction sets the scene to introduce this new ‘type’ of substance and to begin thinking about how the particles within it are arranged and held together. Find out more about physical properties of ionic substances

Atom or ion?

atom or ionGCSE worksheet that asks students to decide if a model shows an atom or an ion. This is an excellent activity to probe students’ understanding of charge, atoms and ions. Students are presented with a range of different models. They decide if the overall charge is neutral i.e. the model represents an atom, or if the overall charge is positive or negative i.e. the model represents an ion.

Ionic dot and cross diagrams

GCSE worksheet for drawing dot and cross diagrams for ionic bonding. Students follow a modelled method to draw dot and cross diagrams for a range of simple ionic compounds. (PDF)

Properties of ionic substances – building ionic lattices

GCSE worksheet on explaining properties of ionic substances. Students build a model of an ionic lattice using plasticine and straws. They then use this model to explain a variety of physical properties of sodium chloride including high melting point, conductivity and brittleness. (PDF)

Tests for ions

Click here for resources to help teach tests for ions


  1. Bonding and physical properties
  2. Covalent bonding
  3. Intermolecular forces
  4. Ionic bonding
  5. Metallic bonding