Monday, October 12, 2015

Forms of Energy {Light, Heat, & Sound}

I don't know about you, but sometimes something that seems like it would be so easy to teach seems a little daunting.  How can I make science fun and hands on?  How can I make this a meaningful learning experience for my students?  How can I make a lesson where the kids don't get out of control?  Anyone feel me?!  That is how I felt about teaching forces of energy.  I knew this could be a super fun unit, and that is just what we made it...FUN!  It is especially fun when you have lots of hands on things for the kids to do!  For this unit, we tried to incorporate some exciting experiments for the kids so that there was a lot of "self-discovery" going on.

We opened up the unit by learning about light.  We had shoe boxes with a few "mystery" items inside.  We requested shoe box donations from parents in advance (we got way more than we needed)!  We also had the kids bring in a small flashlight.  It was okay if not every child brought one in because they were working in groups!  So, no one felt left out if they forgot their flashlight!  The kids began by looking in their shoe boxes without a flashlight.  We questioned them as they looked inside.  "Wow, look at all of those mystery objects!  I bet you can see them so well!"  Then, a roar from the crowd, "I can't see anything!"  Then, we broke out the flashlights!  The kids looked through the little hole on the top of the shoe box and discovered that they could see a little more.  Then, they looked through a larger hole on the side and discovered that they could see the mystery objects much better.  While they were working, they wrote down what they thought the items were.  Finally, we opened up the boxes and looked at the mystery items up close!   

The next week, we went to the science lab and did some hands on rotations about items that produce heat.  The students had a lot of fun.  It was perfect!  Before we went, we discussed expectations like not putting our hand directly in front of the hairdryer.  We also talked about what it means for items to produce their own heat.  As the kids moved from station to station, they recorded if the item produced its own heat and they drew it!  This was a good grade too!

The day after that, the kids had a blast doing the M & M experiment where they held one in a closed hand, held one in an open hand, and laid one on their desk. Then, the kids waited 5 minutes with their hand closed to see what happened. After 5 minutes, they open up their hand and recorded what happened!

The third week of learning about energy, we made a "sound wave."  We prefaced this by watching this short video on how to create the sound wave. I thought this might be a little difficult, but the kids LOVED it, and it was not hard at all!!                                                                                                      They thought it was so cool, and all of the students got involved!  We demonstrated how sound waves move and echoes happen.  Then, we watched a video that I found on You Tube about sound.   I teach second grade and I was hoping it was not too "babyish" for them.  It was not!  They liked it a lot! 

We also discussed pitch by doing the glasses of water activity and making a straw flute!  I have included the recording sheet for the glasses activity in my Energy Forces set, but we did it in our science journals.

During this unit, we also made an anchor chart and the students recorded this information in their science notebooks.  We did a few sorts and then ended the unit with a fun Kahoot, review to send home, and an energy test!

Click the picture above for a FREEBIE!

This was definitely a unit that the kids will remember and that we will do again next year!  Find all of these great experiments, directions, printables, and worksheets in my TPT store within my Forms of Energy Unit!  If you have some fun ideas for teaching energy, please comment below!

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