Energy

SciGuide

SciGuides are a collection of thematically aligned lesson plans, simulations, and web-based resources for teachers to use with their students centered on standards-aligned science concepts.

This SciGuide addresses forms of energy and the transformations between forms of energy. Included are general principles of energy transformation as well as specifics on the various types and forms of energy, such as kinetic energy, potential energy, thermal energy, and heat.

Grades
  • Elementary
  • Middle

Community ActivitySaved in 2480 Libraries

Reviews (24)
  • on Tue Sep 16, 2014 9:52 PM

SciGuides are really fantastic.When it's time to teach about energy, I can be confident knowing I'll have the Energy SciGuide to go to for lesson plans, simulations, and web-based resources. I'll be able to create outstanding lessons in a shorter amount of time since many resources are easily accessible in this SciGuide.

Naomi Beverly  (Marietta, GA)
Naomi Beverly (Marietta, GA)

  • on Fri May 10, 2013 8:38 PM

This PsyGuide is exactly what a teacher needs if he or she may not be as confident teaching the concept of energy. It provides a lot resources and it organized by the following themes: Recognizing Energy, Thermal Energy, and Change in Energy. It is very easy to navigate. Each part includes a great wealth of ideas and resources including: stimulations, interactive websites, videos, lesson plans, reading articles, and more. I personally found the stimulations very useful. I was able to project some on the board so students can grasp the concept better. Additionally, the roller coaster web page helped me understand the concept of energy, and conservation of energy. The site was easy to use and is a great resource to use with the students, because they actually get to explore the concept by building their very own roller coaster. Another important component of this PsyGuide was the information about student misconceptions. This helped me a lot because I am a new teacher, and I have never taught science before. With the help of this PsyGuide I was to learn about the content, and create lessons that were fun, engaging, and age appropriate.

Natalie H  (Wahiawa, Hawaii)
Natalie H (Wahiawa, Hawaii)

  • on Mon May 06, 2013 2:42 AM

The Energy SciGuide is an excellent resource to help bring the abstract concepts of energy in a more concrete learning environment. There are three themes that this SciGuide focuses on: 1) Recognizing Energy, 2) Thermal Energy, and 3) Changes in Energy. This SciGuide provides video clips, lesson plans, and activities that can be implemented in the classroom for students to better understand the concepts of energy. What I found to be very helpful from this SciGuide was the section about children's misconceptions about science. Teachers should be aware of these common misconceptions in order to better plan and teach students the correct information and concepts. I would definitely recommend this SciGuide as it provides an abundant amount of information and helpful resources to implement in the classroom.

Veralyn Ulep
Veralyn Ulep

  • on Mon Nov 05, 2012 1:13 AM

This SciGuide on Energy has an abundance of resources to “guide” the development of a unit on energy. I would recommend first using the Energy SciGuide Map that has a quick overview of the themes and related energy concepts. These web-linked charts helped to organize energy concepts by the themes as well as align to grade level standards. Each energy theme (Recognizing Energy, Thermal Energy, Changes in Energy) has a short description followed by source links related to sub-topics. For example, the Recognizing Energy Theme has links to resources for Earth’s Energy Source, Forms of Energy, and Kinetic & Potential Energy. There is also a section for lesson resources that has lesson plans, vignettes, and samples of student work. In addition to all of this, there are links to webinars, book chapters, journal articles and simulations. The wealth of ideas and resources can be a bit overwhelming at first, however, exploring the SciGuide by theme helped to refine and organize my ideas as I planned an energy unit. I especially liked the simulations that I plan to use to stimulate (and perhaps correct) student thinking. I also found the journal articles, “Spring Into Energy” and “What’s Hot, What’s Not”, to actually be lesson ideas that are “hands on” and tied to children’s literature. I plan to incorporate these engaging student experiments into the energy unit. Finally, the websites that are included in this SciGuide are quality sites that are worthwhile investigating and will surely decrease the amount of time spent searching the internet for resources and ideas.

Gail Shimabukuro
Gail Shimabukuro

  • on Mon Jul 30, 2012 3:25 PM

Excellent! I thought the content was excellent.

Kathryn  (South Amboy, NJ)
Kathryn (South Amboy, NJ)

  • on Tue Jan 17, 2012 9:07 AM

The use of graphic organizer in the sci-guides really make both an educator and student able to find their way around the huge topic while keeping focus. The organization makes a learner feel that the whole thing is well connected and has somewhere to start that leads to some detail. Very rich material!

Ronaldo Relador  (Bowie, MD)
Ronaldo Relador (Bowie, MD)

  • on Tue Jan 17, 2012 9:04 AM

The use of graphic organizer in the sci-guides really make both an educator and student able to find their way around the huge topic while keeping focus. The organization makes a learner feel that the whole thing is well connected and has somewhere to start that leads to some detail. Very rich material!

Ronaldo Relador  (Bowie, MD)
Ronaldo Relador (Bowie, MD)

  • on Sun Jan 15, 2012 3:20 AM

Some insights I have gained about energy, energy is always changing forms and never stays in one form to long. Energy is a property of matter and all matter has energy and there are different forms of energy and has the ability to move or change things. When an object is at rest or not moving it still has energy (potential energy). Energy from the Sun gives plants power to make food. Energy from gasoline makes a car move. Food we eat gives us energy to do work.Energy is a property of matter and all matter has energy and the ability to move or change things. The desk, pencil, notebook or backpack, bouncing ball or riding a bike all have energy because an object at rest or in motion either have potential or kinetic energy. Being able to explain to my students thermal energy is due the particles in matter the move back and forth due to kinetic energy. As the particles move faster, the temperature increases.

Helen
Helen

  • on Sat Nov 19, 2011 11:23 PM

This is a very good resource. It starts with providing a general and simplified view of energy, that kinetic and potential energy can be calculated, and addresses different types and forms of energy in a fashion that is easy to understand. This SciGuide, like others, is organized the same with the introduction followed by themes in easy to find boxes. The thematic units are: 1) Recognizing Energy, 2) Thermal Energy, and 3) Changes in Energy. This particular SciGuide is focused for middle school students. I used the Thermal Energy theme to teach lessons that I found on conduction, convection and radiation. They were excellent, had my students engage, easily found materials in my science classroom (affordable) and simple to follow. This SciGuide, like others, breaks the thematic unit into smaller portions. For example, Thermal Energy is broken down into Heat Transfer, How Does Heat Move?, and The Nature of Thermal Energy. I do recommend this SciGuide for anyone needing vetted internet links and foundational information to understand and find useful engaging lessons for a middle school classroom.

Cynthia Fong  (Hilo, HI)
Cynthia Fong (Hilo, HI)

  • on Wed Sep 14, 2011 2:02 PM

I am math not science, so read on with that in mind. Sometimes it seems to explain something in great detail take away the mystery and makes it mundane. For instance knowing the mechanics of a magic trick would steal the illusion, but seeing the workings of energy in great detail makes it seem more magical to me. Take the food chain for example. I knew that plants act as little solar collectors and used photosynthesis to grow so they could be eaten by animals which could be eaten by other animals, thus transferring the energy of the sun to all living animals. To review this guide and see the energy being stored in chemical bonds and being stored in organic batteries for use by such a variety of devices/organisms makes all our high tech gadgets seem laughable. I’ll never see a cow chewing its cud as quite the same. I am a pretty broad strokes kind of guy. Even in my subject of math I am more interested in students getting the big ideas and am less rigorous with the details, but reviewing this SciGuide has shown me that the details can be the glue that holds the big ideas together allowing for more insight and connections and understanding down the road. I will pay more attention to detail and emphasize the mechanics of the processes I am teaching. Without sacrificing the big picture panorama, I will show students the importance of the nitty gritty. There are many useful links. One of my favorites lets students design and test virtual rollercoasters. Great stuff.

Floyd Loving  (Honolulu, HI)
Floyd Loving (Honolulu, HI)

  • on Sat Apr 20, 2013 5:24 PM

This Energy SciGuide presents lessons in different themes which covers majority of energy standards in my state. I agree with presenting lessons in all types of different formats to address various types of learners and to also reinforce and integrate the material contents where students can draw relationships. This way the knowledge remains with the students and they'll be able to build upon them in their upcoming years. This guide provides complete resource and sequence for teachers. I had carried out lessons involving energy transformation in my classroom and agree with their methods of implementing and combining a variety of strategies. I will definitely add in the 'hands on' portion from this sciguide. The peanut power demonstration seems awesome! Students will be able to see the stored potential energy in their food and relate it to what it can possibly do in their bodies. This lesson can expand towards students thinking about calorie content and eating healthier as well. I would like more resources on lab activities in which students can carry out themselves. I had done energy transformation on different types of metals and heat to show heat energy to kinetic energy, and there were also stations to transfer chemical to heat or light and such. My issue was funding. The materials I used could add up if I had to provide them for a pair of students in every class. Perhaps I could ask students to bring in their own materials or there may be other labs to show awesome energy transformations by using household products (safe house hold products). Overall, great guide, definitely worth using for energy lessons!

Euvelyn Calma
Euvelyn Calma

  • on Wed May 02, 2012 4:46 PM

This was a pretty good resource to help support my lesson with my fifth graders. While I wasn't able to use all of the material the information I got from this Sci-guide was very helpful to me. As I stated I didn't use the guide directly but it did guide me in the information that I taught them. The student enjoyed the websites linked in the Sci-guide especially the energy ant. This entire site and the Sci-packs and guides are a great help to me and I'm sure to many teachers.

Michael Leslie
Michael Leslie

  • on Wed May 02, 2012 4:09 PM

The Energy SciGuide is a wonderful resource for the transfer of thermal energy & energy transformations. I absolutely love the ideas, lessons, & activities found on the websites! There are also great assessments & worksheets that can be easily used for the classroom.

Tamara
Tamara

  • on Sun Apr 29, 2012 11:07 PM

This SciGuide is divided into 3 themes; Recognizing Energy, Thermal Energy, and Changes in Energy. Within each theme there are a variety of resources ranging from student interactive websites, lesson plans, to general background information. Some of the better sites are the ones that are interactive for students to explore this abstract concept. For example one of the more interesting sites allows students to build and test their own roller coaster to examine the effect of friction and to examine the difference between potential and kinetic energy. Other useful sites such as the Wisconsin KEEP site and the Energy and Change site provide background information for students in kid-friendly terms. Overall, the SciGuide is a nice collection of useful links when developing a unit on this difficult concept. It can come in really handy when you're short on time and need some extra ideas.

Jason O  (Waipahu, Hawaii)
Jason O (Waipahu, Hawaii)

  • on Mon Apr 23, 2012 10:31 PM

The Energy SciGuide is divided into three themes: Recognizing Energy, Thermal Energy, and Changes in Energy. Energy in motion, stored energy, and energy generated from heat are the guidelines to recognizing types of energy. I really like the usage of the teacher resource links provided in the SciGuide. The sites that offer raw data information (Sun Source links) are extremely helpful in accessing information that fits my grade 3 benchmark about the sun’s energy (present in the form of heat and light energy). Students can see “real-life” data about the sun including sun spots on the SOHO link; on the “How the Sun Works” student link, there is embedded video links about the “Unfolding Universe” about the sun that might be independent study opportunities for students to view as extensions of their learning. The text is not geared for grade 3 students and seems a bit much, but the composition of the sun and its layers might be worth pointing out in comparison to earth. Parts of the lesson plan for recognizing energy can be adapted for early elementary use—in the form of building a concept map as a pre- and post-recognizing energy forms task. The lesson, as a third-grade lab, needs to be adjusted to provide quick demos: standing in the sun, holding something up that the wind would catch, using sun-sensitive paper, rubber band for the different energy forms. The Thermal Energy Theme focused on links that were more accessible to students. I loved BBC bitesize interactives and use them as part of my science instruction all the time. However, I would recommend the KS2 bitesize activitity of “Keeping Warm” which is more at my students’ level in measuring heat of polystyrene, cardboard, and foil. While it’s not an exact match, the interactives are specifically geared to my age-group. The popcorn lesson for the lab can be achieved as a demonstration without the extensive task of having students write up a formal lab report. Third-graders would love to draw pictures of the kernels popping. The concept of explaining gas contraction for thermal energy seems a bit challenging at my level. Students can connect to steam rising by using hot water in a jar covered by a lid; this has a direct connection to the hydrologic cycle which IS a grade 3 learning objective. Of the students sites associated with the theme of Conservation of Energy, “The Energy Problem” site with the bouncing spring is the most visual and easily communicated to students of any age. They can see the bars of the types of energy change and adjust over the spring’s period. I had issues with the use of peanuts (due to student nut allergies) and the match/heat source required of this theme’s lesson so will leave that for middle school activities. I need to think a bit more on what lesson might best fit the needs of my students. Since the SciGuide is intended for primarily upper elementary grades, many of the concepts need to be adjusted for presentation to my eight-year-old students. Most of the student sites need to be presented to third-graders in using “chunking” strategies and may best be used for pictures, simulations, and videos. The labs seem to be a bit extensive. I think that some teachers are looking for quick demos if students need more in-depth discussions or opportunities to question rather than extended 4-5 periods of lab lesson activities. I would have liked more visual student resources; many of the recommendations are very text-heavy, even for middle school students. Overall the SciGuide did have extensive teacher background knowledge with genuinely useful pieces, but I think it’s primarily well-suited for middle and high-school use.

Lori Towata
Lori Towata

  • on Sun Apr 22, 2012 6:10 PM

Being a fifth grade teacher, I felt that the Energy Sci-Guide was of great assistance to me. There was very good information on Changes in Energy/energy transfer, I was able to integrate many of the suggestions into my teaching. The websites and Links were useful to me. Having good resourses is very helpful to us educators. The lesson plan ideas were very interesting, especially the Popcorn Leson Plan. I really learned a lot from this Energy Sci-Guide and appreciate having the opportunity to use it.

Ricki Luster
Ricki Luster

  • on Wed Nov 30, 2011 5:39 AM

This sciguide gave me insights into some of the problems students have in learning about science through a link called children’s misconceptions about science. For instance, students think that things use up energy, or if energy is conserved, why are we running out of it? There was also a link to a fantastic site about heat called, Heat: An Agent of Change from genesismission.org from nasa. This site has a number of excellent module activities such as atoms and molecules in motion and the heat effects on metals. This site really helped me to understand a topic that I was not all that strong on before. I also liked an informative site about roller coaster design that gave me insight into the topic of conservation of energy. Everyone knows that energy exists and I learned that one of the interesting things about it is that it can be described in numbers and thus an abstract concept can be made more real. I also learned about some lesson plan ideas for labs about energy transfer through conduction and convection and radiation. I feel now that I can incorporate some of these new learnings into more dynamic lesson planning. I want to use some of the simulations in my class. I like the idea of constructing a roller coaster and letting the students experiment with different designs. I want to use the nasa site to help the students learn about how heat transfer affects things like the global climate and local temperatures. I think I can use exactly some of the modules they offer. I feel good now that I can anticipate more of the students’ misconceptions and try to clarify them early on. I feel more confident teaching about thermal energy and the difference between that and heat and temperature. I am curious and want to learn more about systems operating at absolute zero, the point at which friction can be eliminated and efficiency can be maximized. I want to incorporate some of what I have learned into lessons about the need for more and sustainable energy for our society.

Vincent Lowery
Vincent Lowery

  • on Tue Oct 04, 2011 5:43 PM

This sciguide was filled with a lot of information about Energy. It addresses the following: Recognizing Energy, Thermal Energy, and Changes in Energy. It was very easy to navigate with all the sub heading and links. The sciguide map was also useful to visually see how all the topics are related to Energy. I liked how there were links to websites with articles, video clips, and lesson/activities that could be used within the classrooms. The lesson plans provided with this sciguide was a bit overwhelming to look at because it included all the standards that are covered within the topic of Energy. For me, I would like to see the lesson plan broken down by standard or benchmark to make it easier for me to use and understand.

Cristey Kagawa
Cristey Kagawa

  • on Sun Jan 16, 2011 10:42 PM

I teach at an alternative middle school and the content knowledge supported me in my 1st time teaching this module. The weblinks provided were engaging and often revisited by my students.

Alyce D  (Peyton, CO)
Alyce D (Peyton, CO)

  • on Mon Oct 22, 2012 12:11 AM

I found this SciGuide to be helpful in many ways. Although geared toward 5th-8th grade students, it has the possibility of adapting to the third graders I teach. The links to the Physical Science – Forms of Energy website links were user-friendly and extensive. One in particular that I find useful is the Children's Misconceptions About Science: http://www.amasci.com/miscon/opphys.html website. There is an A-Z list by subject (Astronomy, Atmosphere, etc.) that details all of the misconceptions students have about science. For example, they think that stars and constellations appear in the same place every night in the sky. The third grade science benchmark in Hawaii states that constellations do move in the night sky, so it would be a great idea to start a lesson by clearing up misconceptions. This could be done through a What You Think You Know, What You Want to Learn, and What You Learned chart. Also included in the SciGuide are links to audio clips of teachers describing how they used these resources. This can give you a quick idea of whether or not this SciGuide would be useful for you. You can gain ideas from other teachers and add your own personal flare. There are two things I think should be added to improve this SciGuide. One thing is that I was expecting there to be more lessons to choose from pinpointing various topics on energy. Another thing I had hoped for was a lesson or two for the younger grades, maybe K-4. Overall, this SciGuide was useful. I might use the Children’s Misconceptions About Science as a lead-in for some of my lessons. The links provided are a good starting point for creating lessons.

Alayna
Alayna

  • on Tue Apr 17, 2012 3:45 AM

The SciGuide had many resources that seemed helpful for a regular science teacher. If I was just a regular science teacher, I probably would have no trouble administering all of the wonderful lessons this SciGuide contained. My students would have definitely benefitted from them. Things like a Bunsun burner, or a hot plate are not the average classroom supplies for an elementary teacher. Nor do I believe it would be allowed to have an open flame in the classroom. The ideas and the lessons were nicely laid out and organized in a simple fashion. I appreciated that there were "themes" that you could choose from. Also, the the SciGuide map made it easy to navigate to useful sites about energy or particular lessons.

Jacqueline N  (, Hawaii)
Jacqueline N (, Hawaii)

  • on Sat Nov 05, 2011 11:55 PM

I searched through this resource, trying to find ways to apply all of my learning from the science pack for my third grade class. It is intended for fifth graders and above, so I found very little that was relevant to what I need to teach. It would be helpful to create a lower elementary science guide. There was one website where students could design their own roller coaster and test it to see how it worked. I think that is a great idea for older kids. There another link that may be appropriate for younger students on earth's hydrologic cycle but the link was not currently working.

Shawna F
Shawna F

  • on Mon Oct 03, 2011 3:21 PM

I have a mixed review for this SciGuide, primarily because I am a teacher of young children. I initially perused this SciGuide because it was categorized under “Elementary” as well as “Middle School,” but in fact this SciGuide is geared only to students in Grades 5-8. As a result, I found very few applications for my own Kindergarten classroom. The SciGuide is divided into three primary themes—Recognizing Energy, Thermal Energy, and Changes in Energy. Even in other SciGuides that have been geared toward older students, I am usually able to find some application for my own classroom, but due to the nature of this SciGuide’s high level content, I found finding relevant applications much more challenging this time. I think the experiments that are suggested are excellent, and would be very engaging for students in upper elementary or middle school, but they are very difficult for a teacher to implement in lower elementary because they often involve heat or fire. Under the Thermal Energy theme, Conduction, Convection, Radiation Lesson, I found a link to the “Popcorn Lesson.” In that lesson, students can be introduced to these three types of heat transfer using popcorn, as it is (1) heated in oil in a pan, (2) popped in a popper, or (3) microwaved. I thought this lesson would be engaging for my students, but I think I would have a hard time implementing it because I do not have access to a hot plate or popcorn popper. I would also be a little cautious about heating hot oil in my classroom. So, my review as I mentioned is mixed because although the SciGuide is thorough and provides great lessons for older students, it is very inappropriate for younger children.

Jennine Tambio
Jennine Tambio

  • on Mon Mar 03, 2008 6:07 PM

This looks good for use of energy.

Bev Thomsen
Bev Thomsen


Free - NSTA Members

$5.95 - Nonmembers

Login or Create a Free Account to add this resource to your library.

Share