Electricity and Magnetism – Coughlin + Miaoulis

Name of Unit

Electricity and Magnetism


Laura Coughlin and Katrina Miaoulis





Brief Description

Introduction to static electricity, magnets, and electromagnets




Argenziano, Murphy, grade 5, Fall 2013, electricity, magnetism

Number of Weeks


Week 1

Static Electricity -explain principles of electric charge https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/18eEgnlfA8ztpsqhkZcmicCvhvfXm1TIeFeg3gVTpS2I/edit#slide=id.pActivity One: Salt and Pepper Activity -what will happen to salt and pepper if we put a charged balloon above them?   Materials: balloon, salt, pepper Procedure: Have students make predictions about whether the salt and/or pepper will be picked up by the balloon.  Have the kids rub the balloon on their heads to charge it and test their predictions.   Activity Two: Testing Properties of Different Materials -what types of materials can be picked up by a charged balloon? Materials: balloon, 6 different materials (aluminum foil, staple, plastic paper clip, cotton ball, paper, popsicle stick) Procedure: Have students make predictions, charge balloon, and test predictions.

Week 2

Humans Circuit – explain the concept of a circuit by having the kids act it out(voltage = number of people in circuit,   current = how quickly the group moves through the circuit (1=slow motion, 2=normal, 3=powerwalking), resistance = number of jumping jacks) -Groups must first draw a circuit, then act it out for the class.  Class then guesses the components of the circuit (voltage, current, resistance)

Week 3

Squishy Circuits – Parallel vs. Series CircuitsExplain the difference between parallel and series circuitsPowerpoint: https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1xNTMNeSJPzZcMaXBvPi8TeiGATT3RG92LgtyM2F4PvE/edit#slide=id.g12138460e_0681. Have groups draw one series schematic and one parallel schematic.   2. Have groups build each type of circuits using Play-Doh and LEDs (Most groups only had time to do one type of circuit.) https://trunk.tufts.edu/xsl-portal/site/22b631cd-547c-4b61-a3e8-4158cf34fc45/page/b076de27-4d40-46bf-a463-5e3757ffce0e

Week 4

Continuation of Series versus Parallel Circuits1. Reiterate difference between parallel and series because we were rushed in the last class. Before class, we made examples of parallel and series circuits and had the kids identify which was which, ad in which case the light bulbs would shine brighter.2. Drew examples of 4 circuits on the board and had students identify them as series or parallel.   3.Have students use more realistic materials (aluminum foil wires, light bulbs, etc.) to build parallel and series circuits

Week 5

Magnets and Magnetismhttps://docs.google.com/presentation/d/150w-iC8R6AY1QqDjb5RNLXx3wTgrNSPLtFmC86Zzl5U/edit#slide=id.pActivity 1:What materials are magnetic?   Materials: scissors, metal fork, staple, Play-Doh, aluminum foil, coin Procedure: Have students make predictions as to which materials will be magnetic.  Using same magnet, students test to see if their predictions were correct. Activity 2:How much can a magnet hold? Material: 6 different types of magnets, ~20 magnetic dots Procedure: Have students predict which magnets will be strongest among the 6 different types.  Have student test magnet strength by seeing how many magnetic dots each magnet can pick up

Week 6

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