Lesson plan

Energy transformation

Summary
Explore energy transformations in a toy and household devices.
Procedure

Energy input and output in devices activity, to explore different kinds of energy transformation.
Include the discussion of how electrical energy is produced from fossil fuels and renewable resources.

Make the jumping stick toy, as an example of transfer between elastic potential energy and motion energy.

Now that students have thought a lot about energy types and conversion, ask each table group to discuss "What is energy?" Ask them to come up with one sentence explaining what energy actually is (a challenge!)
(The classic description: "Energy is something that can do work", but this is not so helpful for students. A more understandable sentence is: "Energy is something carried by an object that lets it move or change in other ways", or "Energy brings about changes in matter". A great description that students came up with: "What makes things move and grow".

Roller coaster also rich with energy transformations.

Notes

Electric circuits could be a focus instead of jumping stick, with the addition of buzzers, motors etc.
Energy categories: kinetic (motion, light, sound thermal, electrical) and stored (gravitational, chemical, elastic, nuclear, electrical potential?)

Grades taught
Gr 3
Gr 4
Teaching Site
MacCorkindale Elementary
Selkirk Elementary