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Building Blocks of Science® A New Generation: Energy Works! 2nd Edition 1-Use Unit Kit

Item # 515221 Exclusive

Grade 4. In 6 lessons spanning 22 class sessions, students gain experience with different kinds of energy and see how energy is converted to different forms within a system. Building Blocks of Science® lessons are structured in 30-minute class sessions, making it easy to fit science into your day. This 1-use unit kit includes a Teacher’s Guide (item #515202A) and enough supplies and apparatus to teach the unit once to a class of up to 30 students.



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Grade 4. Energy is one of the most important topics in science; however, because it is a complex and somewhat abstract topic, students need lots of concrete experiences and need to recognize many ways of applying the ideas to themselves and their daily lives. Thus, students begin Energy Works! by tracing the flow of energy that comes into their bodies and giving examples of how they use that energy to grow, live, and function. As a pre-unit assessment activity, students hunt for different types of energy in the classroom. Students then classify energy into 2 broad categories: kinetic (moving) energy and potential (stored) energy. They participate in interactive demonstrations that help them better understand the difference between the 2.

In a series of 6 hands-on lessons spanning 22 class sessions, students gain experience with different kinds of energy and see how energy is converted to different forms within a system. Students are encouraged to record new questions they have and ideas they form in their science notebooks, a process which helps prepare them to conduct their own experiments.

Students take a closer look at the transfer of energy by observing models. Students explore water waves and how energy passes through a row of marbles. They have the opportunity to apply the concepts of energy transfer from Lesson 3 and also to explore the factors that change the characteristics of waves.

Through research and discussion, students become aware of the relative advantages and disadvantages of alternative energy versus fossil fuels. They have practical experiences constructing wind- and water-operated apparatus and testing them. Again, students record new questions and ideas in their science notebooks.

Finally, students return to the questions they have been generating and recording throughout their investigations and select a question to investigate in more depth. They plan projects to design and construct apparatus that demonstrate the main ideas of the unit: that there are different forms of energy, that energy can be converted from one form to another, and that energy is the ability to do work or create change. As a culmination, students revisit their pre-unit assessment activity to evaluate how much they have learned about energy.

Building Blocks of Science® lessons are structured in 30-minute class sessions, making it easy to fit science into your day. The Energy Works! 1-Use Unit Kit includes a Teacher’s Guide (item #515202A) and enough supplies and apparatus to teach the unit once to a class of up to 30 students.

Next Generation Science Standards®
The Building Blocks of Science® unit Energy Works! integrates process skills as defined by the Next Generation Science Standards®.

Performance Expectations

  • 4-PS3-1: Use evidence to construct an explanation relating the speed of an object to the energy of that object.
  • 4-PS3-2: Make observations to provide evidence that energy can be transferred from place to place by sound, light, heat, and electric currents.
  • 4-PS3-3: Ask questions and predict outcomes about the changes in energy that occur when objects collide.
  • 4-PS3-4: Apply scientific ideas to design, test, and refine a device that converts energy from one form to another.
  • 4-PS4-1: Develop a model of waves to describe patterns in terms of amplitude and wavelength and that waves can cause objects to move.
  • 4-PS4-3: Generate and compare multiple solutions that use patterns to transfer information.
  • 4-ESS3-1: Obtain and combine information to describe that energy and fuels are derived from natural resources and their uses affect the environment.

Disciplinary Core Ideas

  • PS3.A: Definitions of Energy
  • PS3.B: Conservation of Energy and Energy Transfer
  • PS3.C: Relationship Between Energy and Forces
  • PS3.D: Energy in Chemical Processes and Everyday Life
  • PS4.A: Wave Properties
  • PS4.C: Information Technologies and Instrumentation
  • ESS3.A: Natural Resources
  • ETS1.A: Defining Engineering Problems

Science and Engineering Practices

  • Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions
  • Asking Questions and Defining Problems
  • Planning and Carrying Out Investigations
  • Obtaining, Evaluating, and Communicating Information
  • Developing and Using Models

Crosscutting Concepts
  • Cause and Effect
  • Energy and Matter
  • Patterns

This unit offers several ways to assess students, including a pre- and a post-unit assessment opportunity. Teachers can also use class discussions and charts to assess each lesson. Student activity sheets and science notebook entries—including drawings, writings, and dictated statements—can be used to gauge individual understanding of objectives and key vocabulary throughout the unit. Finally, a general rubric is provided to help teachers evaluate individual students at any point in the unit. The rubric provides a progression of skills and understanding that covers exploration, vocabulary, concept building, and notebook entries.

Lesson Summaries
Lesson 1: Where Do You Get Your Energy?

Students focus on themselves to begin their study of energy: they are both receivers and users of energy. They discuss and map out their ideas about where their energy comes from and how their bodies transform it so they are able to engage in different types of activities. Students take a survey of the different types of energy they observe in the classroom. They record their findings on Student Activity Sheet 1 as a pre-unit assessment.
Lesson 2: What Are Potential Energy and Kinetic Energy?
Students continue to explore the idea that energy has many forms. The teacher introduces the concept that energy may be classified into 2 broad categories: kinetic (moving) energy and potential (stored) energy. The class participates in several interactive demonstrations that show the differences between potential and kinetic energy.
Lesson 3: How Can We Show Energy Is Transferred and Converted?
Students grapple with the concept of how energy is converted into other forms by identifying examples of conversion. Students investigate energy firsthand, which enables them to explore various forms of energy and how they are converted and transferred to other forms within a system.
Lesson 4: How Does Energy Move in Water Waves?
Students take a closer look at waves as one of the ways energy moves. They apply what they learned about energy transfer in Lesson 3 by setting up a model to investigate how waves of energy move through water in an up-and-down motion, and explore the factors that can change the way a waves move. Students also use patterns to transfer information via signals and relate that to practical applications of waves.
Lesson 5: What Are Alternative Forms of Energy?
In an opening discussion, students learn about alternative forms of energy: solar energy, geothermal energy, wind energy, water energy, and biomass. They weigh the relative advantages and disadvantages of alternative energy sources versus fossil fuels. Then students assemble 2 constructions: one that uses wind, and another that uses water. They discuss how wind energy or water energy can be transferred to their apparatus, and then how that energy is transformed into mechanical energy. Throughout the activities, students are encouraged to record new ideas and questions they might investigate in Lesson 6.
Lesson 6: What Have We Learned About Energy?
Working in teams, students plan a demonstration or an experiment and then design and construct their own apparatus to show different types of energy and the transfer of energy. Teams present their projects and explain their inventions to the rest of the class. As a post-unit assessment, students complete Student Activity Sheet 1: Energy Hunt again. They compare their post-unit sheet with the one they completed in Lesson 1 to measure their own progress from the beginning to the end of the unit.

  • WARNING: CHOKING HAZARD - Toy contains a marble. Not for children under 3 yrs.
  • This item is only available from Carolina Biological Supply Company.
Components Qty Included?
Teacher’s Guide 1 Included
Unit Technology Pack (includes digital access to teacher’s guide and digital student access to student reader) 1 Included
Energy Works! Student Reader 1 Included
Ball, Ping-Pong® 16 Included
Battery, Size D, Heavy-Duty 36 Included
Buzzer, Electric 5 Included
Bulb, Mini, 2.0 V, 0.06 A 20 Included
Cup, Plastic, Squat, 9 oz 32 Included
Cup, Styrofoam, 8 oz 25 Included
Cup, Plastic, 1 oz 60 Included
Cutter/Stripper, Wire 1 Included
Dishpan, Plastic, White, 12 qt 8 Included
Dowel Rod, 1/4 x 12” 10 Included
Holder, Battery, Size D 45 Included
Holder, Light Bulb, Mini 30 Included
Humus, 1.6 L 1 Included
Lid, Plastic, 16 oz 10 Included
Marble, Opaque, Blue 40 Included
Motor, Electric 5 Included
Paper, Construction, White, 9 x 12” 50 Included
Pipet, Graduated, 3 mL 8 Included
Ruler, Plastic, Metric (12”) 16 Included
String, Super Twine, 200-ft Roll 1 Included
Solar Cells with Leads 5 Included
Straw, Red/White, 7-3/4” 100 Included
Straw, Transparent, 7-3/4” 150 Included
Tape, Transparent, 1/2” wide, Roll 8 Included
Teaspoon, Plastic 50 Included
Thermometer, Red, Partial Immersion, -20 to 110° C 30 Included
Wire, #22, B.C. Hook-Up, 100-ft Roll 1 Included

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