Understanding Energy

Contributor
NSTA Deepika Menon, Shelby Blake, and Christine Mattingly
Type Category
Instructional Materials
Types
Lesson/Lesson Plan , Activity
Note
This resource, vetted by NSTA curators, is provided to teachers along with suggested modifications to make it more in line with the vision of the NGSS. While not considered to be “fully aligned,” the resources and expert recommendations provide teachers with concrete examples and expert guidance using the EQuIP rubric to adapted existing resources. Read more here.

Reviews

Description

This 5E inquiry-based energy lesson engages K–2 students to learn about energy flow in everyday life. Students observe and investigate potential and kinetic energy and use these investigations to formulate their evidence-based explanations about energy transfer.

Intended Audience

Educator
Educational Level
  • Early Elementary
Language
English
Access Restrictions

Free access - The right to view and/or download material without financial, registration, or excessive advertising barriers.

Performance Expectations

K-PS2-1 Plan and conduct an investigation to compare the effects of different strengths or different directions of pushes and pulls on the motion of an object

Clarification Statement: Examples of pushes or pulls could include a string attached to an object being pulled, a person pushing an object, a person stopping a rolling ball, and two objects colliding and pushing on each other.

Assessment Boundary: Assessment is limited to different relative strengths or different directions, but not both at the same time. Assessment does not include non-contact pushes or pulls such as those produced by magnets.

This resource is explicitly designed to build towards this performance expectation.

Comments about Including the Performance Expectation
Give students many opportunities to investigate with the ramps and balls.

K-PS2-2 Analyze data to determine if a design solution works as intended to change the speed or direction of an object with a push or a pull.

Clarification Statement: Examples of problems requiring a solution could include having a marble or other object move a certain distance, follow a particular path, and knock down other objects. Examples of solutions could include tools such as a ramp to increase the speed of the object and a structure that would cause an object such as a marble or ball to turn.

Assessment Boundary: Assessment does not include friction as a mechanism for change in speed.

This resource is explicitly designed to build towards this performance expectation.

Comments about Including the Performance Expectation
Give students in kindergarten substantial time to explore the ramps and balls while keeping the data they will analyze later.

Science and Engineering Practices

This resource is explicitly designed to build towards this science and engineering practice.

Comments about Including the Science and Engineering Practice
Make time for class discussion with the balls and ramps to analyze the data gathered. This should be done before moving on to the demostration of the Newton's Cradle.

This resource is explicitly designed to build towards this science and engineering practice.

Comments about Including the Science and Engineering Practice
Kindergarten students may need help recording data on the provided worksheet (found at www.nsta.org/ SC1612).

Disciplinary Core Ideas

This resource is explicitly designed to build towards this disciplinary core idea.

Comments about Including the Disciplinary Core Idea
Students may need several class sessions to explore with the ramps and balls to understand this concept.

This resource is explicitly designed to build towards this disciplinary core idea.

Comments about Including the Disciplinary Core Idea
Students should have many opportunities to investigate the balls colliding to understand the concept of how a push can change motion. The concepts of potential and kinetic energy may be too abstract for kindergarten students to grasp but could be discussed with older students.

Crosscutting Concepts

This resource is explicitly designed to build towards this crosscutting concept.

Comments about Including the Crosscutting Concept
Place the balls and ramps at a science center after the class has done the investigation to provide students with additional time to explore them.

Resource Quality

  • Alignment to the Dimensions of the NGSS: This resource is a a great example of students using sense-making of phenomena that integrate elements of the Science and Engineering Practices, Crosscutting Concepts, and Disciplinary Core Ideas. Students work toward understanding the performance expectation by engaging in investigations of potential and kinetic energy. They collect observational and written data to determine cause and effect and use this as evidence for their explanations.

  • Instructional Supports: This resource provides opportunities for students to express, clarify, justify, interpret, and represent their ideas and to respond to peer and teacher feedback orally and/or in written form as appropriate. It also provides guidance for teachers to support differentiated instruction by including an idea for grouping students so they are in smaller groups and more comfortable sharing their ideas.

  • Monitoring Student Progress: A data sheet is provided along with ideas for assessment throughout the lesson. There is no rubric for grading student ideas or judging their explanations. Teachers should use the final assessment questions for individuals in order to assess understanding. Use a checklist to keep track of individual student responses.

  • Quality of Technological Interactivity: There is no technology required for this lesson.