Batteries Lesson Plan: How Does a Battery Work?

Grade Levels: 3-5, 6-8

In this lesson plan which is adaptable for grades 3-8, students use BrainPOP resources and a hands-on investigation to learn how batteries operate.

Lesson Plan Common Core State Standards Alignments

Students will:

  1. Label the parts of a battery.
  2. Order the steps to describe how a battery works.
  3. Demonstrate understanding of a battery's operation through a hands-on investigation and oral/written reflection.


  • Internet access for BrainPOP
  • Class set of copies for the Activity Page and Advanced Activity (or computer access for students to type into the forms online)

Lesson Procedure:

  1. Project the Batteries (Review) Quiz for the class to see and tell students you're going to see just how much they already know about batteries.
  2. As you display each question, have students use Poll Everywhere to share their responses. Alternatively, they could write their answers on a small dry erase board or show their answers on their fingers (1 finger means choice A, 2 fingers means choice B, etc.) Talk through student misconceptions.
  3. Pass out copies of the Advanced Activity or have students pull it up on their computers and prepare to type directly into the form. Invite students to read over the questions on the form, and listen for the correct answers in the BrainPOP movie.
  4. Play the Batteries Movie all the way through for the class. You may want to turn on closed captioning to aid students in comprehension.
  5. Provide a few minutes for students to work with a partner to fill in the activity form based on what they learned so far.
  6. Play the movie through a second time, pausing for students to fill out additional information on the activity form or correct any misinformation they've written.
  7. Allow students to explore batteries in a hands-on activity. If you do not have an investigation included in your curriculum, you may want to check out the ideas from Try Engineering, in which students explore the electrical circuits in a flashlight and how batteries operate. For younger students (grades 3-5). Other ideas include the construction of a Potato Battery experiment or have students make their own battery.
  8. Have students re-take the initial quiz to see what they've learned through the activities they've explored. Another assessment idea is to have students complete the Activity Page and respond to both true/false as well as open-ended questions.