Grade 4: Electric Circuits Unit
Overview In this unit, students will discover that electricity in circuits can generate energy in the form of light, heat, and magnetism. Through a series of investigations, students will wire a simple electric circuit, build and use a circuit tester, apply the information they have discovered to build a flashlight and to design and wire a model cardboard house. Students will also learn that knowledge of electricity has given scientists new ways to explore other scientific topics - chemistry, physics, biology, and medicine.
Building Successful Foundations in Science - Elementary science integrates and organizes student scientific knowledge through a foundation made up of 'Bricks" of Big Ideas put together with the "Mortar" of Unifying Concepts.
Enduring Understandings - important ideas that students should carry with them years beyond the instruction received this year.
- A common vocabulary is needed to communicate about the scientific procedure.
- A hypothesis is a testable prediction as to the outcome of a scientific investigation.
- A well designed investigation involves the use of a written plan that identifies the materials to be used, the procedure to follow, and the variables. A plan needs to be followed to make sure all steps in an investigation are completed.
- A scientist uses many tools when conducting an investigation.
- Complete data makes it possible to explain the results of an investigation and compare it with the prediction.
- When data is analyzed, the results can be communicated in a variety of ways.
- Energy comes in many forms. It can be converted from one form to another.
- Electricity is energy that flows through circuits to power devices. A home can be wired using series and parallel circuits.
- The larger the energy source, the greater the output. (e.g. Conductors allow energy to move, while insulators inhibit the movement of energy flow).
- Energy has a source and can be distributed by various mediums and can undergo either a physical or chemical change. (e.g. Electrical energy has a source, is carried by wires, and is converted into heat, light, or motion).
- All forms of energy involve a system that is capable of transferring or transforming energy.
- A written plan must be followed in the correct sequence to make sure it is done in the same way each time.
- An investigation should be done more than once to make sure the data is accurate.
- Many tools are available to help gather data. Compare and contrast date with other groups to make sure it is accurate. Data can be visually represented with labeled diagrams, charts, tables, or graphs
- Errors can be identified by repeating an investigation or comparing results with other groups. Data can be graphically represented through bar graphs, line graphs, pictographs, or pie charts. Data can be analyzed to predict further change. Models make it possible to represent events or objects.
- There are many safety rules to follow when doing an investigation to keep yourself and others safe.
Essential Questions - most important “big picture” questions students should be able to answer after completing learning activities.
- What common vocabulary should be used when conducting an investigation?
- Why are predictions an important part of the scientific process? How can we make better predictions?
- Why should we follow a plan when conducting an investigation? What tools are available to gather data when conducting an investigation? How does data help us explain our investigation? What are some of the ways we can collect data? How can we communicate the results of our investigation to others?
- What are the different properties of electricity? What materials carry electricity and which do not? How can we distinguish between a parallel and series circuit? How can a home be wired for electricity?
- How much energy input will be needed to obtain the desired energy output? (e.g. What materials conduct electricity? What materials are insulators? How will a plant grow to its desired height?)
- How is an energy source (e.g. battery) converted into usable energy (e.g. electricity)?
- What components are necessary in a system to transfer or transform energy? (e.g. What is needed to make a complete circuit?)
- How can we make sure an investigation is done the same way each time?
- How can we make sure our data is accurate? How can we visually represent data? What tools are available to help gather data? How can we identify errors in our data? How can data be graphically represented?
- How does data help us make better predictions? How can models help complete a scientific investigation?
- What are safety procedures to follow when completing an investigation?
|gravity, magnetism, magnetic poles, magnetic fields, electricity, circuit, switch, interrupt, complete, conduct/conductor, insulate/insulator, symbols, troubleshooting, series and parallel circuits, properties, voltage, filament, continuous, short circuits, devices, attract and repel, battery, positive and negative charges, circuit diagrams, semiconductors|