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Students will learn about static electricity by completing a variety of hands-on activities.
Edison Etc. by B.K. Hixson
Make it Work! Electricity by Alexandra Parsons ISBN:0-590-54461-6
Lightning by Seymour Simon ISBN:0-590-12122-7
Lightning! And Thunderstorms by Mike Graf ISBN:0-689-82018-6
THE MAILBOX Intermediate Feb./Mar.1998
One type of electricity is called static electricity. It doesn't move, but is attracted to and repelled by the static electricity in other objects. The attraction and repulsion properties of static electricity are not the same properties that magnets possess. Static electricity can best be produced on cool, dry days.
Lightning is caused by the movement of positive and negative charges toward one another. During a storm the particles in a cloud become statically charged by the action of the wind blowing them around the cloud. Lightning strikes can happen within a cloud, between two clouds, or between a cloud and the ground. The stronger source of static electricity moves towards the weaker source causing the flash that we see as lightning. "Mini sparks " of lightning can be seen when a person gets "shocked " after walking across a carpeted floor and then touching a T.V. that is turned on. The discharge of static electricity is seen as lightning and heard as thunder on a large scale. It is seen as little sparks and heard as a crackling sound on a small scale. Both are evidence of energy being released.
If friction rods are not available, plastic pens or PVC pipe may be substituted. Also, any wool item can be cut up and used rather than purchasing wool fabric from a store. Donations from the public or second hand stores are possible sources for wool.
1-Use science process and thinking skills.
3-Understand science concepts and principles.
4-Communicate effectively using science language and reasoning.
Invitation to Learn:
Select a volunteer to come to the front of the classroom. Rub the balloon on the volunteer 's head, lifting up the balloon occasionally. Keep doing this until the student 's hair sticks up all over. The balloon can also be stuck to the wall. It will stay stuck to the wall. Have students make predictions as to why the hair reacted to the balloon in this way, and why the balloon sticks to the wall.
|The positively charged hair is attracted to the negatively charged balloon. Opposite charges attract.|
|The same charge on the balloons causes them to repel. Like charges repel.|
Have small groups of students brainstorm examples of static electricity
in everyday life. Share examples with the rest of the class.
Students will experiment with static electricity by doing the following activity:
Pairs of students will recreate the teacher demonstration of the two balloons on a stick by charging their balloons with the same source and then setting them near each other on a flat surface such as a desk. This will show that like charges repel.
Students can answer questions on the data sheet, either as a whole class, in groups or individually.
Students will store their inflated balloons separately for use in the coming
lessons. If desired, they may write their names on the balloons in permanent
This lesson is part of the Fifth Grade Science Teacher Resource Book (TRB3). The TRB3 is designed to be your textbook in teaching science curriculum to your students. This book covers all the objectives of each standard and benchmark. If taught efficiently, a student should do well on the End-of-Level (CRT) tests. The TRB3 is designed for teachers who know very little about science, as well as for teachers who have a broad understanding of science.