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Energy Flows

The energy we use around our homes can come from lots of different places. In this interactive you need to work out the sequence of objects needed to turn sunlight into music, wind into hot air and more.

Requires Adobe Flash Player.

Skill Level:

Key terminology

Battery, wires, light bulb, sun, solar panel, wind turbine, river water, dam, hydro turbine, gas, hot air, crude oil, petrol

 

Common misconceptions

Many children believe that electricity comes from batteries only.

Some think that the electricity coming through a wall socket comes from a big battery somewhere.

 

Scientific explanations

A simple scientific explanation of is given at the top of the screen when the activity has been completed correctly: different types of energy are converted to electricity which travels through wires to make an item work.

 

Screen – what it does/how to use it

The first screen demonstrates how a flow chart is made by dragging pictures from the bottom of the screen.  Sound effects indicate whether the correct picture has been selected.  When the flow chart is completed correctly, the child must read the scientific explanation at the top of the screen.

Note: Children have to read this statement.  There is no audio file available for less able readers.

 

Teacher interventions

At the start of a topic, ask where does electricity come from?  Show the film to gather information.

At the end of a topic, use as a plenary to check children’s understanding.

With more able children, show any of the completed flow charts and ask children to suggest how electricity is made from that type of energy.  What evidence do they have that this happens in UK?

 

 

Related lesson plans / class activities

Younger children: ask children to make ‘junk’ models using boxes, straws, string, etc. to represent the flow of electricity into their homes.

Older children: use solar panels to build moving vehicles

 

Links to related resources

BOOK

Charging About: The Story of Electricity (Science Works)

Paperback – 5 Jul 2004

by Jacqui Bailey (Author), Matthew Lilly (Illustrator)

 

ISBN-10: 0713662581

ISBN-13: 978-0713662580

 

This series uses cartoon style illustrations and humorous narrative text to make key topics in Science and Geography both accessible and engaging. This approach encourages children to read about and understand complex ideas. This is the story of how electrical energy is generated in a power station, how it travels through pylons, power cables and wires until it reaches towns and homes. We learn how electrical current is created and how it is made safe.

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