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
  • Interactive whiteboard
  • Small dry erase boards (optional)
  • Class set of copies for the Activity Page (optional)


matter (noun), potential, stable (adj), electrons, anode, cathode, ions, electric current, circuit, input


  • Preview the movie Batteries to plan for any adaptations.
  • If students will be working offline, make copies of the Activity Page. 

Lesson Procedure:

  1. Project the Batteries (Review) Quiz on the whiteboard.
  2. As you display each question, have students share their responses, either by writing them on a small dry erase board or using their fingers to show responses (1 finger means choice A, 2 fingers means choice B, etc.) Talk through student misconceptions.
  3. Now instruct students to open the Battery Activities at their own computers, or distribute printouts if individual computer access is not available. Review the activities with students, and encourage them to be attentive to the answers as they watch the movie.
  4. Play the Batteries Movie once through for the class without pausing.
  5. Have students complete the Label It and Order of Event activities using what they’ve learned from the movie.
  6. Play the movie again, pausing for students to complete each activity or correct any misinformation from earlier.
  7. Invite students to explore batteries in a hands-on activity or experiment. Some ideas include this Making a Battery activity and/or Creating a Potato Battery.  
  8. Have students take the Battery Quiz again to assess what they learned through the activities they've explored.   

Extension Activity:

Complete the Graphic Organizer by listing facts about batteries as they relate to potential energy, kinetic energy, and stability.

Divide the class into groups of five. Assign a different FYI to each student in a group. Have students read their FYI article then summarize for their group what the FYI is about.