Physical Science

Energy / Electricity 4th Grade Lesson

Hello there fellow educators! I am currently a pre-service teacher in my science methods course and have been asked to write a lesson plan on energy transference and electric circuits (see description below).

Standard: Energy can be transformed from one form to another or can be transferred from one location to another.
Objective: Electric circuits require a complete loop of conducting materials through which electrical energy can be transferred.

I am thinking of having students learn about this topic through the five E's. Below is my basic lesson plan idea. Please leave any comments or suggestions you might have for teaching at least a few phases of the learning cycle in a minute bell. Thank you in advance for your help! 

Engage
- Show a working simple circuit and ask students to complete the K and W in a KWL
Explore
- Design and construct a switch that can turn a light on and off in a circuit. (possibly use Snap Circuits)
Explain
- Go through a presentation (with visual aids) and videos that explain how electricity works and flows
Extend
- Have students build a circuit that contains two light bulbs.
Evaluate
- Do the L in KWL
- Take notes on student’s knowledge and vocabulary during Explore
- Final, end-of-unit- summative assessment

Nicholas Brehm
Nicholas Brehm
230 Activity Points

One of the things I like to do is to give students a light bulb, battery, and a single wire. Ask them to figure out how to light the lightbulb with just those three things. You can see this and some other neat electricity-related activities at http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/aso/resources/campcurr/telecommunication.html.

 

Nanette Fladung
Nanette Fladung
1330 Activity Points

Hi there! 

Your lesson sounds pretty good so far! I think you could deepen the content for your students by tweaking a few simple things.

I just recently read this article, and I think it'll help you add one more element to your KWL chart - the E (evidence), which is definitely appropriate for 4th graders. Check it out here: https://s3.amazonaws.com/nstacontent/sc0602_50.pdf?AWSAccessKeyId=AKIAIMRSQAV7P6X4QIKQ&Expires=1558551796&Signature=JoDunOrsrOcmxvPhM1dNuubtdL8%3d.

Try asking your students questions that get them thinking: How is this (item) "working" or "turning on"? What can you see happening? What can you not see happening? I could also suggest allowing your students to "experiment" by themselves first before/instead of telling them what they are going to do. This way, they are able to discover parts of the phenomena on their own, and you're not killing their wonder. Then, you could do your demonstration. For circuits, I would personally allow my students to explore with different types of circuits - basically, give them more than just one opportunity for them to get their hands on the materials.

Some other good evaluation/assessment strategies you could think of implementing are: having students create a drawing that depics what they think is happening inside the circuit, creating their own (additional) model, or you could use an Interactive Science Notebook. 

Good luck on your circuit lesson, and happy teaching!

-Lauren Walls

Lauren Walls
Lauren Walls
785 Activity Points

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