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Donna Calder
Get ReEnergized
December 2012

Electricity in a Bag
AT A GLANCE
With manipulatives students will carry out investigations that will involve a simple circuit and the
movement of atoms as the electrical energy moves and transfers to light and thermal energy.
Students will test many types of materials to see whether the energy can pass through or stop in
the circuit.

OBJECTIVES
Students will create a simple circuit and identify the major parts. Students will be able to test
several types of materials to identify conductors and insulators.

KEY VOCABULARY
Power Source, Load, Connecters, Conductors, Insulators, electrical energy, thermal energy.

## ILLINOIS STATE LEARNING GOALS

Late Elementary 11: A, B; 12C; 13A

PACE YOURSELF
45 Minute Lesson

1. Prepare holiday light strand by cutting them apart leaving 3 cm of wire on each side of
the light. Strip the ends of the wire.
2. Prepare 2 extra wire strips about 8 cm long for each group.
3. In a bag collect different materials for student groups to test to determine whether they
are conductors or insulators.

MATERIALS
Per Class: Wire cutters and strippers/ Energy ball
Per Group: One holiday light and 9 volt battery/ Paper bag with various materials for testing.
Make sure you put some things in that can be both insulators and conductors depending on
where students attach the wires
Per Student: They will need their science journals and pencils.

## WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

All matter is made up of tiny, particles called atoms. Atoms are made up of three main particles.
Protons have and positive charge and electrons are negatively charged. Neutrons have no
charge. Charges act like magnetic poles. Alike charges repel and opposites attract. Normally

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negative charged and positive charged particles are balanced. When the charges are not
balanced, it can create a flow of moving electrons with the negatively charged atom moving to
the atom with fewer electrons which is positively charged to balance these charges. When
these electrons have a closed path of conductivity they create an electric current.

WARM UP!
Have two students demonstrate the energy ball. Once both students have completed the circuit
have them let go of their hands. Explain what happened. Inside the energy ball there is a
power source electrons flowed through the students bodies and a circuit was complete. Have
students used a couple of things in the classroom that they think will complete the circuit.

ACTIVITY
1. Allow student groups to explore the circuit kits for 10 minutes. Allow them to create the
simple circuit. Some groups might need help. Normally students get so excited that
when they are successful they share with those that arent. Continue to use vocabulary
and ask students to describe what is happening as teacher circulated around the room.
2. Have students sketch and label their simple circuits in science journals.
3. Provide each group with paper bag with several items that they will test the conductivity.
4. Model how you want students to chart their findings in their journals with conductors on
one side of the t chart and insulators on the other side.

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## What three things are needed for a simple circuit?

What items were insulators?
What items were conductors?

DIFFERENTIATED INSTRUCTION
Small Groups
Peer Tutoring/Partnering
Teacher will model journal entries using an elmo and projector.

WHATS HAPPENING?
Wrap up the activity that is visual and auditory learning video using Safari Montage All about
electricity. Be sure to explain the transfer of energy from potential to stored chemical energy in
the battery. Electrons are moving from the negatively charged terminal to the positively charged
terminal of the battery. Energy it then transfers to the load as light and thermal energy and
some transfers back to the battery as kinetic energy. The cycle keeps going until all the
chemically stored energy transforms into kinetic energy.

EXTENSIONS
Language Arts: Journal entries

DIGITAL RESOURCES
Safarimontage.k12.il.us

MUSEUM RESOURCES
Science Storms
Tesla Coil
Plasma Ball

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STUDENT WORKSHEET
This is the worksheet or product you have your students complete.