Teaching Circuit Electricity for Fourth Grade
Start with Phenomena. The teacher turns out the lights and asks students what happened (The lights went out). Why? (You turned off the switch). What happened when I turned off the switch? (Turned off the electricity). What is electricity? (a form of energy that can power things. We use electricity for light). Today we are going to be talking about electricity and how it works, how it turns on and off, and how it moves from one thing to another.
In this blog post, I plan to take you through a hands-on science lesson and show how I incorporate the interactive notebook. I have chosen the topic of electrical circuits with conductors and insulators. It is aligned with NGSS in the following way.
Science and Engineering Practices
Disciplinary Core Ideas
NGSS 4-PS3-2. Make observations to provide evidence that energy can be transferred from place to place by sound, light, heat, and
NGSS 4-PS3-4. Apply scientific ideas to design, test, and refine a device that converts energy from one form to another
NGSS 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.
Also aligned with Utah SEEd
Utah SEEd 4.2.3
Plan and carry out an investigation to gather evidence from observations that energy can be transferred from place to place by sound, light, heat, and electrical currents. Examples could include sound causing objects to vibrate and electric currents being used to produce moon or light.
Utah SEEd 4.2.4
Apply scientific ideas to design a solution that converts energy from one form to another. Define the problem, identify criteria and constraints, develop a prototype for iterative testing, analyze data from testing, and propose modifications for optimizing the solution.
So, as you can see, the students used the interactive notebook to record their predictions, write definitions based on their exploration, record ideas, and explain concepts. To challenge students I would ask them to create a switch using the same materials. For more information on electrical circuits and interactive notebooks, see my blog post on Squishy Circuits Squishy Circuits Lesson and
You can have this lesson and an entire unit on circuit electricity from my store circuit Electricity STEM Unit
Electrical Circuit Unit
This terrific lesson comes with a response sheet and inserts for interactive notebooks. Great for all grade levels. Only $1.20
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Please download this free foldable template Interlocking fold
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