22 Chemistry

Chemistry and the Power of Memory: Remembering Polyatomic Ions

Let’s conquer those chemistry formulas! Today, we’ll tackle memorizing polyatomic ions, which are groups of atoms that carry a charge and act as a single unit. While memorizing their names and charges can feel overwhelming, the Making Absurd Associations method can turn this challenge into a fun memory game.

The Challenge: Polyatomic ions come with often-complex names and charges. Recalling them can be tricky, especially for students encountering them for the first time.

Making Absurd Associations: This technique involves creating strange or funny connections between the ion’s name and its charge. The more bizarre the association, the easier it is to remember!

Here are some examples of polyatomic ions and how to use absurd associations to memorize them:

  • Ion: Sulfate (SO₄²⁻)
  • Association: Imagine a grumpy SOFA (sulfate) throwing two pillows (negative charges) at you!
  • Ion: Nitrate (NO₃⁻)
  • Association: Picture a loud NITpicker (nitrate) constantly pointing out three negative things (charges)!
  • Ion: Hydroxide (OH⁻)
  • Association: Imagine a silly-looking OH NO! man (hydroxide) with one missing eye (negative charge).

Reasoning for Choosing Making Absurd Associations:  Polyatomic ion names often don’t have inherent memorization cues. This method injects humor and absurdity into the learning process, making the information more engaging and easier to recall. By creating a wacky story or image to connect the ion’s name and charge, you create a strong memory association that aids in retrieval.