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Primary Science of Energy Teacher and Student Guides (42 Activities)

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Energy Basics


This teacher guide includes 42 hands-on exploration activities and teacher demonstrations that introduce scientific measurement using simple tools and emphasize the basic concepts of energy: motion, heat, light, sound, and growth. Students use their senses and simple scientific tools (rulers, tape measures, thermometers, balances, and volumetric containers) to develop a basic understanding of energy and the scientific method through hands-on explorations. There is also an accompanying student guide with the necessary handouts. The activities are:

  1. What is Energy 1?
  2. What is Energy 2?
  3. What is Energy 3?
  4. Bodies Use Energy
  5. Food Has Energy From the Sun 1
  6. Food Has Energy From the Sun 2
  7. The Five Senses
  8. Measuring Length
  9. Measuring Mass
  10. Five Balls: Observing and Measuring Size
  11. Five Balls: Measuring Mass
  12. Five Balls: Sink or Float
  13. Five Balls: Measuring Bounce
  14. Five Balls: Measuring Sound
  15. Five Balls: Measuring Roll
  16. Happy/Sad Balls: Observing & Measuring
  17. Happy/Sad Balls: Rolling & Bouncing 1
  18. Happy/Sad Balls: Rolling & Bouncing 2
  19. Teacher Demonstration: Happy/Sad Balls: Heat & Bouncing
  20. Metal & Plastic Balls: Observing & Measuring
  21. Teacher Demonstration: States of Matter
  22. Measuring Liquids 1
  23. Measuring Liquids 2
  24. Volume of Solids
  25. Teacher Demonstration: Solids & Liquids
  26. Using a Thermometer 1
  27. Using a Thermometer 2
  28. Measuring Temperature
  29. Predicting and Measuring Temperature
  30. Teacher Demonstration: Light is Energy
  31. Teacher Demonstration: Artificial Light
  32. Light Travels in Straight Lines
  33. Demonstration: Transverse Light Waves
  34. Light Can Be Refracted
  35. Light Can Be Reflected
  36. Demonstration: Light Can be Diffracted
  37. Sound is Energy 1
  38. Sound is Energy 2
  39. Sound is Energy 3
  40. Sound is Energy 4
  41. Demonstration: Longitudinal Waves
  42. Producing & Demonstrating Sound

Science, Social Studies, Math, Language Arts

Plan Time

2-6 weeks depending on activities used. Activities vary from 10 minutes to several hours.


Handouts/transparencies included; additional materials will be needed depending on activities selected.


Complete list of all standards included at beginning of the activity.



Lesson Plans/Activity