Grade Levels: 3-5, 6-8

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This lesson accompanies the BrainPOP topic Heat Transfer, and supports the standard of making observations to provide evidence that energy can be transferred from place to place by heat. Students demonstrate understanding through a variety of creative projects.


Ask students: 

  • Why do you think hot things, like food, cool down?
  • If you held a mug with a hot drink inside, what would you feel? Why do you think this is so?


  • Read aloud the description below the Movie player.
  • Play the Movie, pausing to check for understanding. 
  • Have students read one of the following Related Reading articles: “Gadgets” or “Famous Faces”. Partner them with someone who read a different article to share what they learned with each other.

Step 3: APPLY
Students synthesize their ideas and express them through one or more of the following creative projects. They can work individually or collaborate.  

  • Make-a-Movie: Create a commercial for a thermos explaining how it keeps a drink warm. 
  • Make-a-Map: Make a concept map defining the three types of heat transfer and give an example of each.
  • Creative Coding: Code a newscast about today’s outside temperature, explaining how it will change throughout the day and night.


Reflect: After sharing creative projects with each other, students reflect on what they’ve learned about heat transfer. Prompt them by asking questions such as: 

  • How does the movement of molecules relate to temperature?
  • How does a thermos slow heat transfer?
  • How is heat transferred through radiation?
  • Why can convection only happen in fluids? 

Assess: Wrap up the lesson with the Heat Transfer Quiz

Step 5: Extend Learning

Play a learning game to apply knowledge of heat transfer:

Continue to build understanding around energy concepts with BrainPOP’s Energy topics, games, and teacher resources.

Lesson Plan Common Core State Standards Alignments