Energy Concept Mapping

4 teachers like this lesson
Print Lesson

Objective

Students will be able to make connections between stored energy sources and actions.

Big Idea

The concept of stored energy and the conversion of that energy is a hefty concept for third graders. This lesson will allow children to grapple with the connection of the two.

Question

5 minutes

"How are energies and actions related?". This will be our question to explore today.

I will ask the students to discuss this, based on their results from their work yesterday during our lesson, "Energy Makes What Happen?".

In having this discussion, I am hoping to not only review what the students experienced in the previous lesson, but to also obtain a command on their understandings and misconceptions.  During these quick questions, it is a good idea to have a notepad handy to jot down possible mini lessons.

Mini Lesson

10 minutes

To prepare the students for today's activity, I will ask them to consider the relationship between several items.  They are: an apple, energy, trees, humans, and worms. As a class we worked to make as many connections between these items as possible. 

The children immediately engaged in a conversation about what item "gave" energy to another. There were many connections discussed, but we finally created a concept map in which everyone agreed. 

Active Engagement

25 minutes

In order to allow student to explore their understanding about stored energy and actions from that energy, I placed the following words on the board: energy, light, heat, motor, motion, sound, battery, electricity, and candle.

I then prompted the students to work with a partner and make as many connections as they could. I also explained to them that if they thought there was a connection, but were unsure of the direction the arrow should be placed, they should just draw a line and we could put the arrows in later, after discussion.

As these students worked, I simply asked them to explain their map to me. As the student walked me through the map, I realized that I could help him use more precise vocabulary words to communicate his ideas, as well and help him make sense of how the ideas were connected. 

I then asked his partner to explain the map, according to his own thinking. In this second conversation, we were able to make more connections and discuss some misconceptions. I was happy to discuss with this group, as it gave me insight into the fact that I needed to create a lesson that was more focused on naming the stored energy first and then recording the action from the use of that energy. 

Sharing and Closing

10 minutes

Every group had a different map, so I asked each partnership to set out their work and have the students "tour" the room.  Following the tour, I gave each team 2 minutes to add to or change their own work.

This type of quick closing is a great way to engage students in conversations, revise work, and explore other thinking.