Grade Levels: 6-8, 9-12

*Click to open and customize your own copy of the Potential Energy Lesson Plan.

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 projects.


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


  • Read the description on the Potential Energy topic page.
  • 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 and ASSESS 

Students take the Potential Energy Challenge and Quiz, applying essential literacy skills while demonstrating what they learned about this topic.


Students express what they learned about potential energy while practicing essential literacy skills with one or more of the following activities. Differentiate by assigning ones that meet individual student needs. 

  • 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. 

More to Explore

Energy Unit: Continue to build understanding around types of energy by exploring more BrainPOP science topics.

Energy Skate Park: Basics: Learn about conservation of energy by building your own skating tracks, ramps, and jumps in this simulation game.

Teacher Support Resources:


Lesson Plan Common Core State Standards Alignments