Static Cling

Contributor
University of Colorado at Boulder Monica Maxwell, Daria Kotys-Schwartz, Malinda Schaefer Zarske, Denise Carlson
Type Category
Instructional Materials
Types
Lesson/Lesson Plan , Experiment/Lab 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

In this lesson, students will engage in two hands-on investigations to observe the phenomena that occurs when an electrically charged comb interacts cereal and styrofoam pellets. Through these observations, students will begin to establish the cause and effect relationships between two objects not in contact with one another.

Intended Audience

Educator
Educational Level
  • Upper Elementary
Language
English
Access Restrictions

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

Performance Expectations

3-PS2-3 Ask questions to determine cause and effect relationships of electric or magnetic interactions between two objects not in contact with each other.

Clarification Statement: Examples of an electric force could include the force on hair from an electrically charged balloon and the electrical forces between a charged rod and pieces of paper; examples of a magnetic force could include the force between two permanent magnets, the force between an electromagnet and steel paperclips, and the force exerted by one magnet versus the force exerted by two magnets. Examples of cause and effect relationships could include how the distance between objects affects strength of the force and how the orientation of magnets affects the direction of the magnetic force.

Assessment Boundary: Assessment is limited to forces produced by objects that can be manipulated by students, and electrical interactions are limited to static electricity.

This resource appears to be designed to build towards this performance expectation, though the resource developer has not explicitly stated so.

Comments about Including the Performance Expectation
As students are not expected to understand electric charges at the atomic level the following instructional sequence is recommended: * Introduce the lesson by asking students to relate their experiences with static electricity. * Ask what wonderings they have. * Have students predict the outcome of the activities before they are conducted. * Have students work in teams and engage in the activities as hands-on investigations. Based on their observations following this lesson, students could be asked what questions they now have. Some of these questions such as whether the size of the comb makes a difference or how far the cereal be made to move can be addressed by implementing the activity extensions for this lesson. Implementation of the activity extensions is strongly recommended as it provides students the opportunities needed to determine the cause and effect relationships of electrical interactions between two objects not in contact with each other. It is important that students be encouraged to explicitly identify a cause and an effect when describing the relationships they have discovered, while keeping in mind that the focus should be on the push or pull that result from the electrical force, and the strength of that force.

Science and Engineering Practices

This resource appears to be designed to build towards this science and engineering practice, though the resource developer has not explicitly stated so.

Comments about Including the Science and Engineering Practice
While students will naturally be making observations as they conduct their investigations, they are not being explicitly instructed to do so. It is suggested that the worksheet be amended to have students record their observations as they engage in the investigative activities. To include measurement and produce quantifiable data, students could measure the distance the cereal can be made to move as suggested in the Activity Extensions section of this lesson.

Disciplinary Core Ideas

This resource appears to be designed to build towards this disciplinary core idea, though the resource developer has not explicitly stated so.

Comments about Including the Disciplinary Core Idea
While this lesson is targeted for Grades 3-5, students are not expected to understand electrical charges at the atomic level. Instead, teachers should use all information presented on the movement of electrons to reinforce their own knowledge, and to understand what students will be expected to know going forward. The investigative activities in this lesson should therefore focus solely on providing students with the experiences that will develop their understanding of static electricity as a force that can attract or repel between objects at a distance. While this lesson will develop student’s understanding that the size of the force depends on the distances between objects, they will need many more experiences in order to determine how the properties of the objects affect the size of the force. In addition to the activity extensions, it is recommended that the related resource “Charge It” be implemented as it will provide students further opportunities to make sense of these phenomena: https://www.teachengineering.org/view_activity.php?url=collection/cub_/activities/cub_electricity/cub_electricity_lesson02_activity1.xml

Crosscutting Concepts

This resource appears to be designed to build towards this crosscutting concept, though the resource developer has not explicitly stated so.

Comments about Including the Crosscutting Concept
Through these investigative activities, students will begin to see how the creation of an electrical force can attract or repel objects not in contact with each other (effect). Although students are asked why the cereal was attracted to the comb, the terms cause and effect are not specifically used. It is recommended that students be encouraged to explicitly identify a cause and an effect as they share their findings and describe the relationships they have discovered.

Resource Quality

  • Alignment to the Dimensions of the NGSS: This lesson provides opportunities to observe and make sense of phenomena, but only implicitly addresses the dimensions of the NGSS. To more explicitly address the practice of having the students make observations, it is suggested that the worksheet be amended to have students record their observations as they engage in the investigative activities. While students are encouraged to ask questions as part of the post-assessment, they should be encouraged to ask questions throughout the activity. Consideration should be given to having the students measure the distance the cereal can be made to move as suggested in the Activity Extensions section, to reinforce the Disciplinary Core Idea. Finally, students will need to be guided to explicitly identify cause and effect relationships as they report their findings.

  • Instructional Supports: The lesson begins with the identification and building of student’s prior knowledge. It provides students with first-hand experiences through which they can make sense of relevant phenomena. It identifies targeted standards, learning objectives, key vocabulary with definitions, a list of materials and estimated material costs, procedures, assessments and real world connections to engineering. It also provides related curriculum, troubleshooting tips, ideas for activity extensions, references, and significant background information, which can be used to enhance teacher understand and inform instruction. Although assessments are also provided, they focus Bohr’s model and why the phenomena is occurring. It is suggested that the assessments focus instead on the cause and effect relationships observed. Demonstration of the procedures, repetition of instruction, and visual media may be needed to provide differentiation for students that are struggling.

  • Monitoring Student Progress: The introductory discussion which identifies student prior knowledge will yield some formative assessment data. The activity embedded and student generated questions post-activity assessment will also yield data to monitor student progress. Teacher observations as the students conduct the activities, as they converse with each other, and as they participate in discussions with the teacher are recommended to provide additional assessment information.

  • Quality of Technological Interactivity: - none -