Building Blocks of Science® 3D: Energy Works (©2019) 1-Use Unit Kit with Literacy Set |

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Building Blocks of Science® 3D: Energy Works (©2019) 1-Use Unit Kit with Literacy Set

Item # 515251 Online Only Exclusive
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Grade 4. Energy Works allows students to explore different kinds of energy and see how energy is converted to different forms within a system. Building Blocks of Science® 3D lessons are structured in 30-minute class sessions so science fits easily into your day. The Energy Works 1-Use Unit Kit with Literacy Set includes teacher's guide, 30 student readers, 60-month license to access online resources, and enough supplies and apparatus to teach the unit once to a class of up to 30 students.



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Grade 4. In 6 lessons spanning 19 class sessions, the Building Blocks of Science® 3D unit Energy Works allows students to gain experience with different kinds of energy and see how energy is converted to different forms within a system. Building Blocks of Science® 3D lessons are structured in 30-minute class sessions, making it easy to fit science into your day. The Energy Works 1-Use Unit Kit with Literacy Set includes a teacher's guide (item #515242), 24 on-grade student readers (item #515203), 6 below-grade student readers (item #515203BGR), a 60-month license for the teacher and students to access online digital resources, and enough supplies and apparatus to teach the unit once to a class of up to 30 students.

Along with hands-on learning, this Building Blocks of Science® 3D unit also provides digital resources to enhance the classroom experience. These components offer an additional method of delivering content, particularly for classrooms with consistent access to computers or tablets. Digital components include digital teacher's guide, simulations, digital literacy reader, interactive whiteboard activities, interactive student investigation sheets, and assessment. All digital resources for Building Blocks of Science® 3D are accessible at

Unit Summary
Energy is a central idea in science; however, it is a complex and somewhat abstract topic that students may struggle to grasp. Energy Works incorporates phenomena and provides opportunities for students to manipulate materials while exploring concepts related to energy. Students begin by tracing the flow of energy that comes into their bodies and identifying other sources of energy around them. They learn about the two main types of energy—stored (potential) and motion (kinetic)—and participate in interactive demonstrations to draw comparisons between them. To understand the concept of energy transfers and transformations, students set up circuits. They also learn about waves as more than just a water-related topic by examining energy patterns and making connections to forms of communication, like Morse code. Nonrenewable and renewable energy sources are introduced and students explore the benefits and detriments of different types of alternative energy. Students create models of wind turbines and waterwheels and elaborate upon their functionalities. In the last lesson, students design an experiment to answer a question about energy and demonstrate their knowledge. As a culmination, students evaluate how much they have learned about energy by revisiting their pre-unit assessment activity.

Next Generation Science Standards*
The Building Blocks of Science® 3D unit Energy Works (©2019) 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.
  • 3-5-ETS1-2: Generate and compare multiple possible solutions to a problem based on how well each is likely to meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.
  • 3-5-ETS1-3: Plan and carry out fair tests in which variables are controlled and failure points are considered to identify aspects of a model or prototype that can be improved.

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
  • ETS1.C: Optimizing the Design Solution

Science and Engineering Practices

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

Crosscutting Concepts

  • Patterns
  • Cause and Effect
  • Energy and Matter

Common Core State Standards
Language Arts

  • L.4.4: Vocabulary Acquisition and Use
  • L.4.6: Vocabulary Acquisition and Use
  • RI.4.7: Integration of Knowledge and Ideas
  • RI.4.9: Integration of Knowledge and Ideas
  • SL.4.1: Comprehension and Collaboration
  • W.4.1: Text Type and Purposes
  • W.4.2: Text Type and Purposes


  • 4.MD.B.4: Represent and interpret data.
  • 4.MD.A.2: Solve problems involving measurement and conversion of measurements.
  • 4.MD.A.1: Solve problems involving measurement and conversion of measurements.

Lesson Overviews
Lesson 1

In Lesson 1, students learn that they receive, store, and transfer energy. As a pre-unit assessment, students focus on themselves by mapping out their ideas about how they obtain energy for various activities. They are introduced to the Sun and its role as a source of energy for plants and animals. Later, students take a survey of the kinds of energy they observe in the classroom. In the next lesson, students will identify different kinds of energy and categorize them as either stored energy or motion energy. As they work through the unit, they will apply their understanding of stored and motion energy to explain how energy is transformed and transferred.
Lesson 2
In Lesson 1 students were introduced to energy by focusing on how energy is stored and moved within their own bodies. In Lesson 2, students are introduced to the concept that energy can be classified into two broad categories: motion (kinetic) energy and stored (potential) energy. The class participates in several interactive demonstrations that show transformations between stored energy and motion energy, and how stored and motion energy can be transferred between objects, specifically falling and colliding objects. In the next lesson, students will expand their understanding of energy transfers and transformations by building and manipulating circuits.
Lesson 3
In the previous lessons, students explored energy by defining different types of energy. By examining falling and colliding objects, students explored when energy was being transformed and transferred. In this lesson, students continue to grapple with concepts related to energy transfer, and they explore this concept further by using circuits. Students will explore how energy flows in a system and explain the different types of energy that can be observed. In the next lesson, wave energy will be introduced. Students will learn how the patterns of waves define their energy, and they will elaborate on how such patterns can be used to transfer information.
Lesson 4
In the previous lessons, students investigated different forms of energy by observing energy transfers and transformations. At this point in the unit, students understand that energy flows within a system and that energy is never gained or lost. This lesson focuses on energy in the form of waves. Using previous knowledge and classroom observations, students describe the appearance and movement of water waves. They apply their observations to label a wave diagram, and they learn that other forms of energy, such as light, also move in waves. Using concepts from previous lessons, students describe wave energy transfers and recognize patterns. Using Morse code as an example, students use similar patterns to transfer information. In the next lessons, students will learn about wave energy as a type of alternative energy by focusing on water and solar energy. They will apply knowledge of energy systems to explain how alternative energy is renewable and will elaborate on the benefits of these forms of energy.
Lesson 5
In the previous lessons, students have examined different types of energy, manipulated them in a system, and observed how they can be transferred by using models and analyzing data. Lesson 5 introduces alternative energy sources as potential replacements for fossil fuels and provides engineering opportunities for students to construct their own wind turbines and waterwheels. The concepts in this lesson have strong correlations with current events, providing many opportunities for inquiry and discussion. Students should be able to apply their knowledge from this unit to explain how renewable energy can be harnessed, transferred, transformed, and reused to power common devices. In the next lesson, students will use what they have learned in previous lessons to design their own energy experiments that demonstrate the primary concepts from the unit.
Lesson 6
Throughout the unit, students have used hands-on, inquiry-based science explorations to engage with concepts related to energy, explain concepts using evidence and reasoning, and elaborate upon ideas. By way of these experiences, students should recognize that energy comes in many types that can be transformed or transferred. In this final lesson, students will work in groups to design an experiment that shows the many types of energy, that energy can be transformed from one type to another, and that energy does work or creates change. After testing, students will demonstrate their experiment and communicate their findings to the class in a presentation. As a review and assessment strategy, students compare their knowledge from the beginning of the unit to what they know now. This practice encourages students to evaluate their own progress and acknowledge what they have learned about energy. By the end of the unit, students should be able to provide an in-depth explanation of how energy impacts their daily lives in a multitude of ways.

*Next Generation Science Standards® is a registered trademark of Achieve. Neither Achieve nor the lead states and partners that developed the Next Generation Science Standards were involved in the production of, and do not endorse, this product.

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Product Families Featuring This Item:

Components Qty Included?
Teacher's Guide 1 Included
Unit Technology Pack (60-month subscription to to access digital teacher's guide, digital instructional resources, and digital literacy reader) 1 Included
Energy Works On-Grade Student Reader 24 Included
Energy Works Below-Grade Student Reader 6 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
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
Immersion Thermometer, -10 to 110° C (0 to 230° F) 30 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
Tank, Plastic, 1-1/2 gal 8 Included
Tape, Transparent, 1/2" wide, Roll 8 Included
Teaspoon, Plastic 50 Included
Wire, Hook-Up, 22-Gauge, 100-ft Roll 1 Included
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