A 60 minute lesson in which students will explore the concept of heat as a form of energy.
Prior to the lesson, review the procedure and equipment required for the demonstration.
A glass of hot water
A glass of cold water
A thermometer (optional)
This lesson contains a link to an external video. Please watch the video prior to presenting this lesson to ensure that the content is appropriate for your students.
Take the class to a large, open space, free from furniture and obstacles (this may need to be outside the classroom). Ask the students to think of a time when they felt very energetic. Encourage them to consider how their bodies moved when they felt like this. Explain to the students that, once you say ‘Start’, they must move around the space in a manner which shows that they are full of energy.
Once the students have completed their energetic movements, gather the class back together. Explain to the students that they must now think of a time when they felt very lethargic/tired/sluggish. Encourage them to consider how their bodies moved when they felt like this. Tell the students that, once you say ‘Start’, they must move around the space in a manner which shows that they have very little energy.
Return to the classroom. Use guiding questions to reflect upon the activity, such as:
What did you notice about the way your bodies moved when you had plenty of energy?
What did you notice about the way your bodies moved when you had very little energy?
Do you think things with more energy always move faster than things with less energy?
Watch the Heat Energy video on YouTube. Stop the clip at 3:23 (the remaining segment of the video will be viewed in the next lesson). After watching, ask the students:
What is heat?
How do the particles of hot objects move?
How does heat travel?
Introduce the Heat Energy Word Wall to the students. Define the terms ‘heat energy’ (a form of energy created by movement of the molecules in a substance), ‘temperature’ (a measure of heat energy) and ‘thermometer’ (a device used to measure heat energy).
Provide the students with a copy of the What is Heat? Worksheet. Read through the instructions for the demonstration as a class, then encourage the students to predict what they think will happen during the activity. Remind them that the molecules in hot substances move faster than the molecules in cooler substances.
Prepare the glasses of hot water and cold water. If available, use a thermometer to measure the temperature of the water in each glass. Based on this information, encourage the students to suggest which glass of water has more heat energy.
Conduct the demonstration by simultaneously placing three drops of food dye into the glass of hot water and the glass of cold water. Monitor and support the students as they record their observations on their worksheet.
Encourage the students to independently complete the final question on the worksheet. Allow confident students to share their responses to this question with the class.
Refer back to the question posed during the tuning in activity: Do things with more energy always move faster than things with less energy? Discuss if the statement might be true or false. Use the observations from the activity to support the conclusion.
Encourage more capable students to label their diagrams when completing the worksheet.
Allow less confident students to discuss their observations verbally before recording them on the worksheet.
Suggested Assessment Strategies
used strategic whole class or individual questioning
observed student participation during learning activities