Start the lesson by having students create a KWL chart in their science journals. If students do not have an ongoing science journal, give all students a copy of the KWL chart (S-4-5-1_ KWL Chart.doc). Have students write the following types of energy under the W (What) section of their KWL charts, leaving space after each to allow for note taking throughout the lesson. Have students complete this task before showing them the energy video.
Explain to students that as they watch the video, they will write notes under the appropriate vocabulary terms in their science journals. These notes will be used to generate and answer questions throughout the unit and help them study for the end of unit test on energy.
“Energy has many forms. Some examples include radiant, thermal, electrical, and chemical. Energy can either be kinetic/in motion or potential/stored. Also the Sun, or solar energy, is Earth’s primary energy source (as radiant or light energy, not as heat or thermal energy.) The Earth is too far away from the Sun for thermal energy, but the light or radiant energy causes thermal energy on Earth, which we feel as heat. Solar energy provides the Earth with its main source of energy which is transformed into other forms of energy: wind, photosynthesis or chemical energy, friction (rub hands or two sticks to feel heat; this is energy transforming from mechanical energy of motion to thermal energy), chemical (burning of oil, gas, coal, wood), and electrical energy (heat when an electric current flows through thin wires such as the filament in a light bulb or toaster).”
Students can write these definitions and begin to list examples of each as they watch the video and complete the following activities.
Ask students to listen for and write down examples of various forms of energy while you watch the video.
Begin the Matter and Energy video lasting approximately 11 minutes at http://videos.howstuffworks.com/hsw/20431-matter-and-energy-defining-energy-video.htm.
When the video is done, divide students into small groups. Supply each group with a pencil and piece of paper. Each person in the group must write a fact from the video onto the paper, passing the paper clockwise until everyone has contributed a fact about energy and its forms.
When all groups are finished, call on volunteers from each group to share a fact. Record the facts on chart paper (or SMART Board or overhead transparency).
When all groups have shared their facts, read aloud the facts recorded on the chart paper.
Differentiate between the various forms of energy, citing examples. Explain to students that kinetic energy is energy in motion, like running and swimming. Objects like a moving car, a falling rock, or a strong wind all have kinetic energy.
Energy can also be stored, like a battery or as fossil fuels or food. Objects have energy when they are not moving (when you sleep at night or a rock on a cliff before it falls). This is potential energy because it is stored up and ready to use later.
Distribute a copy of the Energy Picture to each student (S-4-5-1_Energy Picture.pdf).
Continue to explain and define thermal energy as having to do with heat, radiant as bright and shining, and electrical as caused by the motion of electrons and protons. Remind students to write these facts in their science journals.
Next, have students stand up at their seats and jog in place for 1 minute. Afterwards ask for volunteers to identify the type of energy used for the running activity.
As a closing independent activity or homework, have students complete the Energy Forms Chart (S-4-5-1_Energy Forms Chart.doc). Have students exchange their charts and discuss them. Check for understanding.
Finish up the lesson by evaluating students’ interests and concerns they may have on the lesson. Ask students to review the following statements and pick one that best describes how they feel. Then instruct students to copy the statement they picked onto a sticky note, and then place their notes on the door on their way out. Students will not put their names on these evaluations to provide anonymity. These notes will provide the teacher with an informal evaluation of the lesson.
a) I understand what energy is.
b) I sort of understand energy but still have questions.
c) I am a little confused about energy and need help.
d) I need to review/study in order to understand energy.
- For students who may be or are going beyond the standards, consider developing an energy brochure.
Distribute a blank piece of paper to each student and instruct students to create a trifold pamphlet on energy.
The front cover should have the title “Energy,” a definition of the word energy, a picture of energy, and the student’s first and last name.
The inside front flap should have an illustration of a form of energy and its definition. The middle section and the final inside section should include an additional illustration and definition. The rear flap can remain blank.