# Charge It!

Contributor
University of Colorado at Boulder Xochitl Zamora Thompson, Sabre Duren, Joe Friedrichsen, Darla Kotys-Schwartz, Malinda Schaefer Zarske, Denise Carlson
Type Category
Instructional Materials
Types
Experiment/Lab Activity , Lesson/Lesson Plan
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.

No reviews

## Description

In this lesson, students will perform a series of experiments to further their understanding of static electricity and specifically, the cause and effect relationships of electrostatic interactions between objects not in contact with each other.  It is suggested that this lesson should follow Static Cling to provide students with sufficient experiences that will enable them to make sense of phenomena.

It should be noted that 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.

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.

It is suggested that this lesson begin with a review of what they have learned from “Static Cling”. Students should then be asked the wonderings (questions) they have following the review. As the performance expectation is for students to ask questions, the teacher may want to begin this lesson with the phenomenon of the charged balloon sticking to the wall and having students ask questions about what is happening. It is also recommended that the teacher embed opportunities for students to ask questions upon recording their observations after each of the investigative activities. As a reminder, the focus in third grade should be on the push or pull that results from the electrical force, as well as the strength of the force, rather than what is happening at the atomic level.

#### Science and Engineering Practices

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

Students are explicitly instructed to record their observations after each of the experiments. In testing how long the balloon will stick to different surfaces, students are instructed to time how long the balloon will stay up. As part of the activity extensions, students can also measure the angle of the water flow being deflected. While angle measurement is not an expectation for third grade, students can still collect qualitative data by taking pictures using a mobile device as they conduct their trials and then comparing the angles of deflection. Finally, students can the correlate the number of tissue pieces with the amount of time or number of rubs made to charge the balloon.

#### Disciplinary Core Ideas

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

The investigative activities in this lesson provide students with a variety of experiences that further develop their understanding of static electricity as a force that can attract or repel objects at a distance. To more fully address this core idea, it is suggested that the students be asked how a balloon sticking to the wall demonstrates that objects don’t need to touch to interact with a force. The investigations should then be extended to provide evidence for their explanations. Students can also extend their investigations and to test whether the number of times the balloon is rubbed or the type of material used to rub the balloon will affect the size of electrostatic force. Suggestions to further investigate the effects of material properties on the size of force exerted are provided in the Activity Extensions section of this lesson.

#### Crosscutting Concepts

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