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Science Focus Lesson

Energy Causes
Polk County Public Schools


Benchmark: Investigate and explain that

energy has the ability to cause motion or
create change.
Essential Question:
How does energy cause motion or create


Energy is the ability to do work.

In Science, work is done when a force moves an object.
Energy can cause motion. Energy can also cause
changes in matter.

Energy is a property of matter, and all matter has it.

Whenever a light bulb is lit, a turkey is roasted, an
orchestra plays, a fan spins, a book falls off the shelf,
or a fire burns, you can be sure that energy made it

Energy can cause changes in matter.

People use electrical energy to start car engines,
run the headlights and taillights, and light buildings and

Heat energy deep below the Earths surface makes

a volcano erupt. The eruption can throw lava, rocks,
and ash high into the air.

Plants use the energy in sunlight to change carbon

dioxide gas and water into a simple sugar for food.

Look at the pictures below. With your shoulder

partner, explain how energy in each picture
causes motion or creates change. Write a
sentence for each if time allows.

Moving air, or wind, contains energy. In the past,

this energy has turned windmills used to pump
water or grind grain. Today, windmills or wind
turbines are used to generate electricity.

Windmills change the energy of moving air into

electrical energy. Wind turns the windmills blades.
The blades turn a rod that is connected to a
generator that produces electricity. But using
windmills to generate electricity only works well
in places where wind blows steadily.

Moving water has energy. Hydroelectric power

plants use turbines and generators to convert the
energy or moving water into electricity. Most
hydroelectric power plants are part of dams built
across rivers.

In some coastal areas, the moving water in ocean

tides is used to generate electricity. A dam is built
over a narrow bay. Rising and falling tides power
turbines and generators, just like in a river dam.
The water in rivers and along ocean coasts is
always moving.

With your shoulder partner, discuss how air and water are
sources of energy. If time allows, make a list of energy in
these pictures that causes motion or creates change.

Guided Practice
Work with your shoulder partner to answer each question

1. Frank uses a bowling ball to demonstrate how energy

can cause changes. Which of the following actions

would NOT demonstrate a change caused by applying
energy to the ball?
A. He holds the bowling ball in both hands.
B. He spins the bowling ball with one hand.
C. He rolls the bowling ball across the floor.
D. He lifts the bowling ball to place it on a shelf.

He holds the bowling ball in both hands.

Guided Practice
2. Hydroelectric power creates electricity by using
moving __________.
A. Heat
B. Air
C. Water
D. Light


Guided Practice
3. How does the Suns energy create change in plants?

It allows the plant to breathe.

It changes carbon dioxide and water into food.
It changes the position of the plant.
It gives water to the plant.

It changes carbon dioxide and water into food.

With your shoulder partner, describe

energy changes that can be found
around your school. Think about your
classroom, the cafeteria, PE, Music,
Art, and other areas of the school.

Check Your Understanding

Record your answers. Check them at the end.
1. Sara just got her drivers license and is driving to high
school for the first time. Which of the following
actions would demonstrate that energy causes change?
A. She is stopped waiting for some students to cross the
B. She pushes the gas when the light turns green.
C. She is parked in her assigned parking space.
D. She is stopped at a red light.

Check Your Understanding

2. Maria uses a basketball to demonstrate how energy
can cause changes. Which of the following actions
would NOT demonstrate a change caused by applying
energy to the ball?
A. She shoots the basketball into the hoop.
B. She dribbles the ball down the basketball court.
C. She holds the ball in her hands before the game starts.
D. She passes the ball to one of her teammates.

Check Your Understanding

3. Windmills or wind turbines use wind to create


Heat Energy
Light Energy
Sound Energy
Electrical Energy

Check Your Understanding

4. Jasons family takes a trip to watch a horse race. Which of
the following actions would NOT demonstrate a change
caused by the horses on the track?
A. The horses shoot out of the gate when they hear the gun
B. The horses run faster when the jockey yells.
C. The horses are standing still at the gate waiting for the
race to start.
D. The horse cross the finish line.

Check Your Answers

1. A
2. C
3. D
4. C

Write a summary paragraph explaining

how energy can cause motion or create