• Elementary Science Grade 4 Unit 2

    Subject: Science
    Grade: 4
    Timeline: 12 weeks
    Unit Title: Electricity and Magnetism

    Unit Overview: 
    In this unit students discover that electricity in circuits can generate energy in the form of light, heat, and magnetism. Students learn that electric circuits require a complete circle through which an electric current passes, and that different types of circuits show different characteristics. Students wire a simple electric circuit, build and use a circuit tester and switch, build a flashlight, and wire a model house.  Students understand the need for safety rules and become more confident in analyzing and solving problems.

    Unit Objectives:
    The objectives of this unit are to apply the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) Crosscutting Concepts that bridge disciplinary boundaries, uniting core ideas throughout the fields of science and engineering.
    Energy and Matter
    • Energy can be transferred in various ways and between objects.
    Influences of Science, Engineering and Technology on Society and the Natural World
    • Engineers improve existing technologies or develop new ones.
    Science is a Human Endeavor
    • Most scientists and engineers work in teams.
    • Science affects everyday life.
    • Similarities and differences in patterns can be used to sort and classify designed products.
    • Similarities and differences in patterns can be used to sort and classify natural phenomena.
    • Patterns can be used as evidence to support an explanation.
    Cause and Effect
    • Cause and effect relationships are routinely identified, tested, and used to explain change.
    Systems and System Models
    • A system can be described in terms of its components and their interactions.

    Focus Standards: 

    PSSA Eligible Content:
    S4.A.1.1.2: Identify and describe examples of common technological changes, past to present in the community, that have either positive or negative impacts on society or the environment.
    S4.A.1.3.3: Observe and describe the change to objects caused by heat, cold or light.
    S4.A.1.3.5: Provide examples, predict or describe how everyday human activities may change the environment.
    S4.A.2.1.1: Generate questions about objects, organisms, or events that can be answered through scientific investigations.
    S4.A.2.1.4: State a conclusion that is consistent with the information/data.
    S4.C.1.1.1: Use physical properties, state, conductivity to describe matter.
    S4.C.1.1.2: Categorize/group objects using physical characteristics.
    S4.C.2.1.1: Identify energy forms and examples.
    S4.C.2.1.2: Describe the flow of energy through an object or system.
    S4.C.2.1.3: Recognize or illustrate simple direct current series and parallel circuits composed of batteries, light bulbs, wire, and on/off-switches.
    S4.C.3.1.1: Describe changes in motion caused by forces.
    S4.D.1.2.2: Identify the types and uses of Earth materials for renewable, nonrenewable, and reusable products.
    S4.D.1.2.3: Recognize ways that humans benefit from the use of water resources.
    NGSS Disciplinary Core Ideas:
    PS3.A: Definitions of Energy
    • Energy can be moved from place to place by moving objects or through sound, light, or electric currents.
    PS3.B: Conservation of Energy and Energy Transfer
    • Energy is present whenever there are moving objects, sound, light, or heat. 
    • Energy can also be transferred from place to place by electric currents which can then be used locally to produce motion, sound, heat, or light. The currents may have been produced, to begin with, by transforming the energy of motion into electrical energy.
    PS3.D: Energy in Chemical Processes and Everyday Life
    • The expression "produce energy" typically refers to the conversion of stored energy into a desired form for practical use.
    ESS3.A: Natural Resources
    • Energy and fuels that humans use are derived from natural sources, and their use affects the environment in multiple ways. Some resources are renewable over time, and others are not.
    ETS1.B: Designing Solutions to Engineering Problems
    • Testing a solution involves investigating how well it performs under a range of likely conditions.

    Concepts - Students will know:
    • electricity as a source of energy.
    Competencies -Students will be able to:
    • experience attraction and repulsion with static electricity.
    • recognize the difference between open and closed circuits.
    • conduct experiments with electricity to understand energy flow.
    • sort and identify examples of conductors and insulators.
    • know that batteries convert chemical energy into electrical energy.
    • observe magnetism that is produced by electricity flowing through a wire (electromagnetism).

    Formative Assessments:
    • Pre-assessment
    • Notebooking
    • Performance Tasks
    • Teacher Observations

    Summative Assessments:

    • Performance assessments with rubric
    • Post-assessment

    Elements of Instruction:
    Asking Questions and Defining Problems
    Asking questions and defining problems in grades 3-5 builds on grades K-2 experiences and progresses to specifying qualitative relationships.
    • Ask questions that can be investigated and predict reasonable outcomes based on patterns such as cause and effect relationships.
    Planning and Carrying Out Investigations
    Planning and carrying out investigations to answer questions or test solutions to problems in 3-5 builds on K-2 experiences and progresses to include investigations that control variables and provide evidence to support explanations or design solutions.
    • Make observations to produce data to serve as the basis for evidence for an explanation of a phenomenon or test a design solution.

    Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions

    Constructing explanations and designing solutions in 3-5 builds on K-2 experience and progresses to the use of evidence in constructing explanations that specify variables that describe and predict phenomena and in designing multiple solutions to design problems.
    • Use evidence to construct an explanation.
    • Apply scientific ideas to solve design problems.
    • Generate and compare multiple solutions to a problem based on how well they meet the criteria and constraints of the design solution.
    Developing and Using Models

    Modeling in 3-5 builds on K-2 experiences and progresses to building and revising simple models and using models to represent events and design solutions.
    • Develop a model using an analogy, example, or abstract representation to describe a scientific principle.

    Each lesson has differentiation options for each portion of the lesson.
    • Create a table with circuits and materials for students to practice and explore.
    • Place circuits with different faults in classroom (loose connection, burned out bulb, etc.) challenge students to troubleshoot.
    • Students investigate different materials and list them as insulators or conductors.

    Interdisciplinary Connections:
    Create a bulletin board of pictures illustrating ways students use electricity in their homes. (Art, Social Studies)

    Additional Resources / Games: