Physical Science

Forms of Energy Lesson

Fri Dec 12, 2014 1:04 PM

Hi Everyone,
I a looking for an inquiry lessons designed to teacher students the different forms of energy. My class period is only 47 minutes so I am limited with time. Any ideas?

Caitlin Stewart
Caitlin Stewart
1595 Activity Points

Mon Jan 05, 2015 1:10 PM

I hope this is not too late! I have a few videos on energy conversion activities that might help. Here they are:

Antonio Chaves
Antonio Chaves
150 Activity Points

Wed Apr 15, 2015 3:15 PM

I like the FOSS kit on energy that has a wide variety of science events, like a battery and motor or solar panel and light bulb. You can use the associated worksheets and truncate them to fit your timeframe. I think the kids need to have their hands on a few devices to make it real and then determine the science behind the event.

Good luck.

William Grover
William Grover
6585 Activity Points

Thu Feb 25, 2016 4:46 PM

Have you ever tried using 'poppers' for students to investigate energy and energy transformations?  Students use oversized poppers (available on amazon for cheap) and design an experiment.  I have kids do this and then they explore potential energy, kinetic, elastic, etc. and they are designing the experiment.  Kids have lots of fun with this experiment!

Bridget Warnke
Bridget Dontz
425 Activity Points

Mon Dec 15, 2014 6:44 PM

It depends on if you are doing an introduction or a set of lessons and how old your students are.

When I introduced this, I set up stations and had the students visit each station and tell me the following: what kind of energy goes into this system, what kind of energy is in the middle (being used or transferred), and what kinds of energy comes out.

So, station 1 was a flashlight (chemical -> electrical -> light/heat), station 2 was a bike bell (mechanical -> sound), station 3 might be a generator (mechanical -> electricity -> light or sound if I used the one attached to the door bell), etc.

At each station I had a flip-book, where students could check their input and output (the middle was extra credit so I didn't provide hints for that one). That increased their confidence when they started to realize they actually could name these and most stopped looking after the 2nd station (usually I would set up about 10 stations with 3 min at each). If you didn't provide the "answer keys" this might be more inquiry. I used it as more of an engagement, and as such, you could simply do a couple each day and then have students follow through with an inquiry lesson based on what ever transformations you are doing for the day. Students were responsible for keeping a data chart of their results for each station.

Not inquiry, but good introduction. Then I would have them draw a picture of a system of their own choice and label how energy was transformed from one form to another as it passed through it.

For additional ideas, you might try a search and then look through the conference materials - there were all kinds of interesting lesson ideas there.

Tina Harris
Tina Harris
65560 Activity Points

Sat Apr 18, 2015 3:18 PM

Tina- could you explain a bit more of what information you provide in your flip books? Thanks

Deborah Donker
Deborah Donker
3660 Activity Points

Tue Apr 07, 2015 9:53 AM

I used these sites to teach the different forms of energy and heat transfer. I thought that they were basic and easy to follow for all levels. I teach at the high school level. Joni

Forms of Energy:

Heat Transfer:

Joni Ingram
Joni Ingram
1705 Activity Points

Mon Oct 12, 2015 11:12 AM

Hi Caitlin, I know that this might be a tad late, but below is a link to the playlist of energy video demonstrations on FunScienceDemos YouTube channel. FunScienceDemos is a project I have been working on and it is home to hundreds of free science demonstrations for every idea that young learners should know. They are common core aligned and more demonstrations are regularly added.
Check it out and subscribe!
Dr. George Mehler Ed.D.,
Temple University

George Mehler
George Mehler
725 Activity Points

Tue Nov 10, 2015 10:36 PM

These are some great resources. Energy is often a very dry topic to teach and hard to keep it engaging. I found these tools an resources to help improve my energy lessons!

Judy Avellaneda
Judy Avellaneda
1235 Activity Points

Mon Nov 23, 2015 11:45 AM

I had my students do centers where they had a recording sheet answering questions.

Mechanical Energy- wind-up toys
Light energy- Your school might have solar powered toys, or you can always use UV changing beads
Sound energy- place a piece of wax paper over a speaker and then place rice on top of the wax paper, turn the volume up and down
Heat energy- have a cup of cold water and a cup of hot water. Place three drops of food coloring in each cup (preferebly red) and watch what happens within a minute

Edgar Mondragon
865 Activity Points

Fri Dec 04, 2015 8:59 PM

You can show and lets children explore different types of models of energy like solar powered machines. This lesson could take more than one day. 

Meaghan Rivas
meaghan rivas
1120 Activity Points

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