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# Parallel Circuits

Lesson 5 of 14

## Objective: SWBAT build and describe properties of a parallel circuit.

*45 minutes*

#### Introduction

*10 min*

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.

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#### Engagement

*30 min*

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.

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#### Closure

*5 min*

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.

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- LESSON 1: Electricity and Magnetism Pretest
- LESSON 2: Building Circuits
- LESSON 3: Insulators and Conductors
- LESSON 4: Building Series Circuits
- LESSON 5: Parallel Circuits
- LESSON 6: Human Circuit Models
- LESSON 7: Experimenting with Static
- LESSON 8: Electronics Tear Down
- LESSON 9: Building Complex Electrical Systems
- LESSON 10: Magnetism: A Review
- LESSON 11: Electromagnets
- LESSON 12: Planning Independent Electromagnet Experiments
- LESSON 13: Electromagnetism Follow Up
- LESSON 14: Magnet Engineering Design Challenge