Students will measure the heat created at each center.
Main Curriculum Tie:
Science - 3rd Grade
Standard 5 Objective 2
Demonstrate that mechanical and electrical machines produce heat and sometimes light.
- 9 volt batteries
- Christmas lights cut
apart with 1/2 in of
- Popcorn popper
- Mechanical pencil
- Metal buttons
- Wool fabric
- Roller skate
- Overhead projector
- Nonexamples (e.g.,
cardboard box, plant,
envelope, pencil, etc.)
- Measuring Heat worksheet
- Sorting Heat Sources worksheet
- Sorting Heat Sources
- Keepers of the Earth: Native American Stories
Activities for Children, by Michael J. Caduto and Joseph Bruchac;
- The Magic School Bus in the Arctic: A Book about Heat, by Joanna
Cole; ISBN 0-590-18724-4
Background For Teachers:
Students will learn that heat is produced from human activities and
mechanical and electrical machines. Heat is produced almost anywhere.
Heat is the random motion of molecules. A hot object is one whose
atoms and molecules are excited and show rapid movement. A cooler
object’s molecules and atoms will be less excited and show less
movement. When these molecules are in an excited state, they take up
more space because they are moving around so fast. When molecules
settle down, or cool down, they take up less space. If hot, high-energy
atoms come into contact with cool, low-energy atoms, the excited atoms
will loose some of their energy to the cool atoms. The two atoms will
settle into an energy level that is between where they each started out.
That level is called Thermal Equilibrium.
It is important for students to understand
that situations that produce
heat involve motion—either observable, such as activity-based (human
mechanical), or electrical. Simple, stationary objects do not produce heat.
Intended Learning Outcomes:
1. Use Science Process and Thinking Skills
3. Understand Science Concepts and Principles
4. Communicate Effectively Using Science Language and Reasoning
Invitation to Learn
- Ask students to stand up and
rub their hands together fast and hard
for ten seconds.
- Ask, “How do your hands feel right now? Why?”
would you most likely do something like this? Why?
- Why is rubbing your
hands together useful or helpful?
To extend, have students either jog
in place, stomp their feet, or
do jumping jacks. After a period of time, have students stop and
discuss their similar heat-based reactions. You need to give them
the impression that they are “little heat producers” when
- Give each group one 9 volt battery and one light bulb
Ask, “Can you make the light bulb light up? If so, does it get
Point out that batteries are an electrical form of energy. Can
electricity produce heat or light?
Set up and label centers where each group can discover the
difference in temperature resulting from the following activities. If
groups will be reporting their findings, mix the centers with
combinations of the four types of activities.
- Human-based activity (erasing
the board, rubbing book on desk,
rubbing wool and metal buttons, rubbing pennies on paper,
- Electrical activity (computer, overhead projector, popcorn
popper, lamp, flashlight, television, etc.).
- Mechanical activity (sharpening
pencil, spinning roller skate,
- Stationary objects—Objects that do not move (cardboard box,
plant, envelope, pencil, etc.).
- Divide students into four groups. Give
each student a
Measuring Heat worksheet. Tell the students that are going
to measure the heat created at each center. Have them
answer the question and fill out their hypothesis before they
go to their center. Discuss the expectations and procedures
and then send to assigned centers.
Note: Mechanical heat and human activity
not be detectable on a thermometer. Use the sense of
touch to determine “yes” or “no” if heat was
produced. Use thermometers for electrical and nonexamples.
follow the directions and record the results.
- Stop the action, turn
off the machines, and discuss within
groups what happened.
- Proceed to the next center or have each group
results with the class.
- Place students of different
abilities in each group. Each student
should have a meaningful role. Students could collaborate on the
- Have students use the Sorting Heating Sources worksheet
accompanying pictures to classify the objects.
- Have students find mechanical and electrical examples at home.
measure the difference in heat of working and
nonworking examples they find at home.
4 correct, complete, detailed
3 partially correct, complete, detailed
2 partially correct or complete, lacks some detail
1 incorrect or incomplete, missing data, needs help
0 no attempt
Adaptation—Student explains what they did and what they
Kesidou, S. & Roseman, J.E., (2002),
How Well Do Middle School Science Programs
Measure Up? Findings from Project 2061’s Curriculum Review.
Programs rarely provided students with a sense of purpose for the
units of study. This program took account of student’s beliefs that
interfere with learning. It modeled the use of scientific knowledge so that
students could apply what they learned in everyday situations.
American Association for the Advancement of Science. (2001). Science for
online. Chapter 4: The physical Setting
Heat energy is the random motion of molecules. Whenever the
amount of energy in one place or form diminishes, the amount in another
place or form increases. Heat always tends to diffuse from warmer
places to cooler places.
Sillman, K. & Dana, T. (1999). Metaphor: A Tool for Monitoring Prospective
Teachers’ Developing Metacognitive Awareness of Learning and Teaching Science,
paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Association for Research
Science Teaching, Boston Massachutes.
Providing students with meaningful, hands-on activities is valuable.
However, this is not enough; connections have to be made.
Created Date :
Dec 02 2005 10:24 AM