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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.
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®.
Disciplinary Core Ideas
Science and Engineering Practices
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 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.
|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|
|Battery, Size D, Heavy-Duty||36||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|
|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|
|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|
|Thermometer, Red, Partial Immersion, -20 to 110° C||30||Included|
|Wire, #22, B.C. Hook-Up, 100-ft Roll||1||Included|