Grade Levels: 6-8, 9-12

This lesson accompanies the BrainPOP topic Potential Energy, and supports the standard of constructing arguments to support the concept of stored potential energy within a system of objects. Students demonstrate understanding through a variety of creative projects.

Step 1: ACTIVATE PRIOR KNOWLEDGE

Display a picture of a child on a swing, with an adult about to push it. Ask: What would make this swing move? Why? 

Step 2: BUILD BACKGROUND

  • Read aloud the description below the Movie player.
  • Play the Movie, pausing to check for understanding. 
  • Have students read one of the two Related Reading articles. 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 movie that documents an object’s change in position as its potential energy transforms into kinetic energy. 
  • Make-a-Map: Make a concept map that analyzes the transformation of an object’s stored potential energy into kinetic energy. 
  • Creative Coding: Code a comic that explains how stored potential energy transforms into kinetic energy, and different factors that impact an object’s potential energy. 

Step 4: REFLECT & ASSESS 

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

  • What factors impact an object’s potential energy? 
  • How might you change an object’s potential energy? 

Assess: Wrap up the lesson with the Potential Energy Challenge.

Step 5: EXTEND LEARNING

Continue exploring energy concepts with BrainPOP’s Energy Unit

 

Lesson Plan Common Core State Standards Alignments

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