Lesson plan

Heat transfer and sources

Experiment with ways that heat can be transferred (conduction, convection, radiation) then look at how we make heat.
Science content
Physics: Heat (3)
Physics: Energy forms, Conservation of Energy (1, 3, 4, 5)

Introduce heat (also called thermal energy), and that it can move from place to place. Then do activities that show different ways that heat can move:

Conduction activity: heat conduction in different materials.

Convection activity: heat convection demonstration.

Review that both conduction and convection need molecules to transfer the heat energy.

Radiation: Ask students to sit in a circle, and move around the circle with an incandescent light bulb. Allow them in turn to feel the heat coming from the bulb from a distance (don't let them touch it or they will get hurt). The heat coming from the bulb is mostly by radiation - an energy that can pass through empty space, it does not need molecules to be transferred. (Only 1/8 of the heat energy is by conduction and convection.)
The sun is a source of radiation.
Radiation is also called infra red.

End with the heat sources activity.

Add candle heat pinwheel for another convection activity.

Grades taught
Gr 3
Teaching Site
Champlain Heights Annex
Oppenheimer Elementary