Lesson: Series and Parallel Circuits/Ohm's Law

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Lesson Objective

* To know the difference between current, voltage (potential difference) and resistance. * To be able explain how current and potential difference change throughout a circuit. * To know and use Ohm's Law

Lesson Plan

Year 9 Physics Lesson Plan


Module title:  Electricity                                                                      

Lesson title:  Circuit laws

Time allocated: 1 doubles, 1 single


Book References:

  • Physics for You – Keith Johnson


Learning outcomes for ALL students (“MUST” and “SHOULD”):

  • To know the difference between current, voltage (potential difference) and resistance.
  • To be able explain how current and potential difference change throughout a circuit.
  • To know and use Ohm's Law



Learning outcomes for most able students (“COULD”):

  • To be able to connect potential difference to the energy transferred per unit charge
  • TO be able to distinguish between EMF and PD.


Practical Experiments (with techno list and precautions other than usual):

  1. Investigating parallel and series circuits:  many wires, ammeters, volt meters, power pack, light bulbs.
  2. Investigating the effect of resistance of different types of wire: power pack set to 2 V or 1.5 battery packs, light bulb, 2 crock clips, 2 wires and a length of nichrome wire, rheostat,  ammeter
  3. Investigating Ohm’s Law



Practical Demonstrations (with techno list and precautions other than usual):




Other resources, including videos (title and number), books and worksheets – please be clear and specific: 




Lesson notes: (brief, relevant description of lesson where Class Practicals (CP), Class Demos (CD), Worksheets (WS) etc can be referred to by the initials and the numbers assigned in boxes above)




Single lesson: I, V, R=?


  • Who am I components?  These are in laminated card sets.  Quick recap of material previously covered but now introducing some new ones: cell, ammeter, voltmeter etc. 


Main: use analogies where possible

  • PPT – can they think of 2 facts to do with I and V?  Reveal notes and write. 
  • If the class can take it – talk a little about PD and EMF.  Do highlight the fact that pd is a measure of energy given to each part of the circuit – this is reiterated in the worksheet. 
  • PPT resistance with a few questions to ask them about how this can change. 




Double lesson: Parallel and Series Circuits



  • Hand out CP Current and Voltage OJW. This takes them step by step through the parallel and series circuits for current and voltage. 




  • PPT slides to draw a table to record what happens in a series and parallel circuit. 
  • WS Spotlight Science Series and Parallel Questions should keep them quiet for the rest of the lesson and for prep. 



  • QUIZ Electrical Circuits – this can also be prep if the Spotlight is done in class. 





Single lesson: Ohm’s Law



  • 4 teams with mini white board.  Each is given either series or parallel, V or I.  How many facts can you recall?  You put the boards up at the front, then each team in silence writes down how many other things they can add – 1 point for each.  Keep this short.



  • Investigating resistance. This will need you to explain the WHOLE sheet to the class, even if it is step by step. They should be quite good at setting up circuits by now – get slightly larger groups – 3 or 4 to make for less equipment and faster task.




  • Clearing up 





Double lesson:  Ohm’s law



  • PPT  Ohm’s Law, what is it.  You can connect back to the Investigating Resistance practical to make students get  feel for what they are thinking about here. 



  • PPT setting up the experiments: verifying Ohm’s Law for a 150W resistor and then a light bulb. 
  • They will need a lot of help.  Goo through th kit with them – are they sure they know how to measure using the digital and analogue meters. Just get them set up, take the data and then get them to pack away. 
  • As a class, explain carefully what to plot and why. 
  • Make sure that they all plot at the same rate – cut the chatter completely. 
  • Now go through how to calculate the gradient – they will NOT find this easy or they will find this  VERY easy.  The class will be split.  Be prepared to explain FIRST what a gradient is and then apply to the experiment. 



TEST!!!!  Next lesson

Language for learning, including key words, units and formulae:





Suggested homework tasks (differentiated where appropriate):


  1. WS Spotlight Science Series and Parallel Questions  
  2. WS Electrical resistance (not all questions) 























Lesson Resources

QUIZ Electrical Circuits  
Prep Series and Parallel  
CP Investigating resistance  
CP Current and Voltage OJW  
WS Ohm s Law  
WS Spotlight Series and Parallel questions  
WS Electrical Resistance qns  
TEST Electricity components and circuit laws  
EXP WS Investigating Resistance in Wires.doc   Classwork


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