Lesson 5 of 14
Objective: SWBAT build and describe properties of a parallel circuit.
I began by having students write the focus question, "How can you build a parallel circuit?" in their science notebooks. My goal was to guide my students to discover what a parallel circuit was as naturally as possible, so to guid their thinking, I had them write the following:
parallel circuit- a circuit with more than one path for electricity to flow through
To make this definition useful, I needed to give them a definition for series circuit so they had something to compare it to, so I also had them write:
series circuit- a circuit with one path for electricity to flow through
I told the class that their challenge was to create a circuit such that when one bulb is removed, the other bulb stays lit using 1 battery, 2 light bulbs with bases, and 4 wires.
I reviewed expectations for working in groups, and had a student from each group come up to get materials. As they worked, I was looking for cooperative behaviors and the ability to try something new when one approach didn't work.
Several groups placed the battery in the middle, with a series circuit going to either side of the battery. I told them this was two series circuits, but upon further reflection, I realized that's just what a parallel circuit is, so I have some research to do to clarify this point.
As time ran out, I guided groups by telling them to first make a series circuit, then add another circuit onto it.
As groups finished, I reminded them to complete the chart comparing series and parallel circuits, and to draw a working parallel circuit. I also reminded them to add to their ongoing list of questions for further investigations.
At the end of the period, I randomly collect a random sample of student notebooks for ongoing formative assessment.