Reflection: Student Led Inquiry When Life Gives You Lemons -- Make a Battery! - Section 3: Mini-Lesson


I chose to start a unit on redox reactions with students building a lemon battery
because for many students the whole idea that a lemon can make a light bulb
glow seems CRAZY! It is a great hook activity. Students should leave class
wondering how light bulbs and electricity works.

At first, building the lemon battery seems like a simple enough procedure.
However, there is no guarantee that the LED will light. Some students' LED's
will, while others will not--and that is OK. The goal is to generate questions,
not necessarily electricity.


While I do not specifically allude to it in this lesson, this electrochemistry unit addresses NGSS Standard # HS-PS1-B, Chemical Reactions: Chemical processes are understood in terms of
collisions of molecules, rearrangement of atoms, and changes in energy as
determined by properties of elements involved.

Ultimately, students will need to understand the redox reactions that make electrons flow to make electricity. But for now, they are just playing with lemons and wondering how a lemon could possibly make a light glow.

  Encouraging Questions
  Student Led Inquiry: Encouraging Questions
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When Life Gives You Lemons -- Make a Battery!

Unit 8: Redox reactions
Lesson 1 of 7

Objective: Students will be able to think and ask questions about how batteries generate electricity.

Big Idea: Students will plug some electrodes into a lemon and attach them to an LED in order to generate (pun intended!) some questions about electricity and metals.

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