What Is Energy?
Lesson 10 of 12
Objective: SWBAT explain how heat moves from one place to another. SWBAT draw & describe how heat moves by radiation. SWBAT provide examples of heat transfer that occurs in everyday situations.
What Is Energy?
I ask students to take two (2) minutes and use their Science Journal (Notebook) to write and draw about the question "What is energy?" I post the Bell Ringer questions on the board. As an option, you could post the questions on an overhead projector, SMART board, or even provide paper copies of the questions for students to complete. Then, I ask student to Turn and Talk with partner for one (1) minute to share ideas. Students discuss their answers and ask questions (SP#1) in order to process information.
Next, I share an answer to that question with my students. Energy is measurable, quantifiable; something that make things happen.
Then I ask the class: Is there more than one kind of energy? (answer: yes) Can one kind of energy be changed into another? (answer: yes)
I wait for student responses. Then, as a class, we brainstorm a list of types of energy. Some ideas include: heat energy to warm houses and food, mechanical energy of moving things like cars, electrical energy for lighting and cooking, chemical energy when gasoline burns in car engines, light energy in solar cells and solar heating, and also nuclear energy in power plants.
Finally, I share a real world example with students and ask them to rub their hands together. What happens? I explain that work can be converted into heat and that is why your hands feel warm!
Heat Transfer In Everyday Situations
Let's get moving! It's best practice for middle school students to "move" during a lesson. So, using large poster paper, I display Transfer of Heat Images around the classroom. I number each station and Student Groups are assigned to start at a particular station. Students rotate and move through several stations. Each group of students will spend three (3) minutes observing an image or model (SP#2) of heat transfer, discussing the questions with their group, and recording their answers on the poster. Students should use the question prompts to consider how heat is moving in that image (model) then, using evidence (SP#7), communicate (SP#8) their answers on the poster. Students will add their own ideas, comments, and questions (SP#1).
This learning experience also focuses on MS-PS-3-5 Energy when energy is transferred to or from an object it may take different forms; CCC#5 Energy & Matter when the transfer of energy can be tracked as energy flows through a natural/designed system; CCC#2 Cause & Effect relationships may be used to predict phenomena in natural/designed systems.
Next, as a class, read about radiation in a textbook or other non-fiction source or tradebook. I ask students to use their Science Journal to draw and describe how heat moves by radiation. After reading about radiation, students (RST.6-8.2) determine central ideas and provide an accurate summary of the text. It is important, and best practice, to have students write and draw about content to explain their thoughts. This strategy helps students to understand science better and learn more deeply.
Let's Wrap It Up
Explain how heat transfer would work with a solar oven. Draw & label your diagram.
I bring the class back together with this closing statement. This last step of the learning should tie the lesson together. Give them one (1) minute to turn to their partners to process the statement, discuss possible answers, and record ideas and thoughts (SP#8) in their Science Journal. Using a Think Pair Share strategy is best practice. It is important to hold students accountable for their discussions. To hold student accountable, I circulate the classroom, listening in (rather than speaking if you can avoid it), and expecting students to use a thinking framework for discussion. Give students two (2) minutes to write/draw their answers in their journal.
Then, we take 2 minutes to share out as a class. Some students are willing to show their work on the document camera, so I project their image to the class. Their images may include: the sun, a solar oven, arrows, and radiation waves from the sun to the solar oven. One student stated that "the sun will go off of the tinfoil on the oven, and it heats up your food." Great answers! Thanks for sharing.