Teacher of the Lesson: Kelly Pelak
Grade Level: 5
Estimated Time: 40 minutes
- Using a simple circuit, students will test a variety of materials to
determine if they are conductors or insulators of electricity.
- Students will be able to explain the difference between a conductor
and an insulator of electricity.
- D cell batteries
- flashlight bulb
- materials to be tested (such as paper clips, tape, pencils, rulers,
string, paper, plastic, glass, coins, wood blocks, rubber bands, etc.)
- Handouts labeled, "Conductor
or Insulator?" (one for each child)
- List of questions for each student
- Before the lesson begins, prepare a zip-lock bag containing the above
items for each group of students. Establish groups of 2-3 students ahead
of time. Place the bags on the back table.
- Gather students at their desks, and introduce the lesson to them. Review
the lesson from the previous day, and explain that this lesson will be
very similar. In their groups, students will be setting up simple circuits
using the batteries, wires, tape, and bulbs. Review what a simple circuit
looks like with the whole class. Draw a diagram of a simple circuit on
the board. Explain that today they will be predicting and testing several
items in the room to determine if they are insulators or conductors.
- Discuss the meaning of these terms with the students. What makes an
object an insulator? What will happen if you place an insulator between
the bulb and the battery? Will it light? What makes an object a conductor
of electricity? etc. Although the students have not had any formal instruction
on these terms, they should have a basic understanding of them. Spend roughly
five minutes discussing and predicting what will happen in their experiments.
- Review expectations of the students and provide an alternative assignment
for students who choose not to cooperate during the lesson. Model the exact
procedures of the experiment. Remind students to make their predictions
before they begin the assignment. It is very important to do this before
testing the items. In addition, remind students to use the items provided
in their bags, but to also look for other items to test in the room. Remind
students to record what they do. Each group will be responsible for ONE
data sheet. EACH child will later be responsible for answering questions
about the experiments after they are completed.
Sequence of Instruction
- Give the students roughly 15-20 minutes to complete the experimental
part of the lesson. Walk around the room and give assistance when it is
needed. When it appears that most children are finished with their experiments,
assign one person from each group to collect the materials. Give students
ample time after the experiments are finished, to complete the written
part of the assignment.
- Discuss the results of the experiment as a whole class. Make a chart
on the chalk board of conductors and insulators. Discuss items that were
both conductors and insulators.
- Give each child a list of discussion questions to complete independently
for homework. Use these answers to determine the level of understanding
for each individual student in the class.
EVIDENCE OF STUDENTS ACHIEVING OBJECTIVES:
- Were the students able to construct a simple circuit with little or
no assistance? Were students able to place the tested items in the pathway
of the circuit? Did students use both the items provided in their bags
as well as other items in the room?
- Were students able to make a clear distinction between insulators and
conductors in their discussion question answers? Were their answers accurate?
Were students able to explain how the conductors they tested were alike?
Were students able to explain how the insulators they tested were alike?
Did their answers demonstrate a clear understanding of these terms?
- Have students create a Venn Diagram displaying the results from their
- How did I do?
- Were my instructions and expectations clearly stated?
- Did the students enjoy the task?
- Did the activity deepen their understanding of insulators and conductors?
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