Forms of Energy Part 1

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SWBAT identify the basic forms of energy and provide examples for each.

Big Idea

This lesson is an introduction to the forms of energy, leading into mechanical energy.


5 minutes

This lesson is a follow up from the previous day's lesson, What Is Energy? It is intended for kids to get a better understanding of the various forms energy can take.  The Performance Expectation attached to this lesson is one that will be addressed in detail in future lessons.  This lesson is leading up to mechanical energy, as it's the first time students will be introduced to the topic in a basic way.

For the first section, the students are asked to recall how they know something has/uses/gives off energy.  They will list 3 ways in their notes sheet

At the end of 3-4 minutes, I ask students to share their responses with the class and I make a list with their responses on the whiteboard. 


20 minutes

Set up in the room are the following items: a large paper/poster with the forms of energy written on them serving as a word bank for the class, six different forms of energy cards that I post in various places throughout the room (Forms of Energy: Cards and Word Bank).

Students move around the room to each picture card and write the information from the card into their notes sheet.  They then decide which form of energy they think it is, based on the information from the card and what they already know.  They will write their choice of energy form and will then support it with evidence for their thinking. (For example: I think card #6 is light energy because it gives off light.)

Before the kids get started working independently, I complete one of the cards with them, filling out the information on the whiteboard so that they know exactly what to do at each card and how to fill out the chart correctly. 

Students can work independently or if you know there is a student who will struggle, you can pair them with a stronger student and they can work together.  


5 minutes

The students return to their seats and I move around the room to each posted card, soliciting students' thinking.  I write their answers on the chart on the whiteboard.  If there is any disagreement, I have the students provide evidence for their thinking and we take a poll as a class to settle it.  This usually resolves the debate.  

If students have any incorrect responses, at this point they would make those corrections in their notes sheet. 


5 minutes

Students now work in their small groups or independently to come up with their own example for each form of energy.  They record their examples in the Elaborate Section of their notes sheet.

After about 3-4 minutes, I ask the students to share their groups' examples with the class and I record these on the whiteboard. 


5 minutes

For the last section I ask the students to answer the following question in their notes sheet:

How can you determine which form of energy something is?

The point of this is for the students to reflect on how they made their decision in choosing from the word bank.  It helps them to understand why they made their choices and hopefully, makes them feel more confident in their reasoning.