Edison's Light Bulb

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Students will be able to explore how electricity is used to produce heat and light.

Big Idea

Students will explore how electricity is used to produce light and heat while learning about Thomas Edison and the light bulb.


1 minutes

Warm Up

10 minutes

I will begin the lesson by displaying a picture of a light bulb to the students. I will distribute the Thomas Edison's Light Bulb Warm Up sheet to students. I will encourage students to take an intellectual risk using words, symbols, or drawings to predict how the light bulbs work to produce heat and light. Allowing students the opportunity to take intellectual risks, encourages students to share their ideas. It also promotes a classroom community that respects others' ideas and opinions.


25 minutes

To begin the explore section, students will view the informational resource Lighting A Revolution. This resource provides an explanation on how Thomas Edison's light bulb works.

After we have reviewed the article, I will ask students to explain how the parts of a light bulb work together to produce heat and light. I will also ask students to brainstorm other devices that use electricity in wires to produce light and heat.

I will direct students to revisit their warm up sheet. I will remind students that intellectual risk taking involves revising original ideas and taking chances. I will provide the students the opportunity to revise their explanations based on the new ideas or new information they gained from reading the article.

Next, I will arrange students into three groups. I will inform students that we are going to be setting up a Carousel Brainstorm. Each group will get a different color marker and a large poster size post it with a different question written on it. The first groups question will be: How has the invention of the light bulb helped people? The second groups question will be: How can a light bulb be harmful to people? The third groups question will be: How can electricity, heat, and light energy be harmful to people? Allowing students to participate in the Carousel Brainstorming activity continues to promote a classroom culture where new ideas are welcomed. It also allows students the opportunity to be additive to their peers ideas. 

Each group will be instructed to answer their question. Next, I will instruct students to rotate in their groups with their markers to the other groups post it charts. Each group will respond to the other groups' questions. 

Once complete, we will review each groups' chart as a whole group. I will ask students to share what advice they would give to others regarding safe use of electrical devices that produce heat and light.

I will instruct students to make caution posters to advise others about safety when dealing with electrical devices.

Wrap Up

10 minutes

To conclude the lesson, students will share their caution posters. Students will be given the opportunity to explain how they created their posters and the reasoning behind their ideas. Students will also be given the opportunity to give feedback.

After all the students have shared, I will ask the students to share what changes they might make regarding electric lighting and heating devices to improve safety.