Engage: Identifying Energy

Engage: Students identify different forms of energy in pictures.


In this portion of the lesson, students will be working with a partner to observe and discuss the different forms of energy in an interactive activity. One strategy for facilitating student pairs may include Think, Pair, and Share, which encourages each student to think of his own ideas and then share them with a partner. Once student pairs have co-constructed their answers, they can share them with the whole group.

Instruct students to identify the forms of energy in the scene by clicking on the objects. Students should work with their partner to observe, identify, count, and discuss the different forms of energy in the scene.

Facilitation Questions:

What forms of energy did you observe?

How do you know that something has light energy? Sound energy? Heat energy?

What objects in the scene exhibit light energy? How do you know?

What objects in the scene exhibit sound energy? How do you know?

What objects in the scene exhibit heat energy? How do you know?

Where else have you seen objects that exhibit light, heat, and/or sound energy?

In what ways to do you use heat, light, and sound energy every day?

Explore: Exploring Sound Energy

Explore: Students explore sound energy.

Activity: Sound Identification Bingo

Instruct students to use the animation to play Sound Identification Bingo.

Lead a discussion about the importance of sound energy in everyday life.

Use the following sentence stem to model how to explain why a sound is important to students:

  • The sound of the (clock beeping) is important because (it lets me know it is time to wake up).

Facilitation Questions:

What sounds help you?

What sounds help you know you might be in danger?

What would your life be like if there were no sounds?

Explain: Letters to My Energy Superheroes

Facilitation Questions:

How does light energy help you?

How does heat energy help you?

How does sound energy help you?

What would life be like without light energy? Heat energy? Sound energy?

Which Energy Superhero would you like to write to? Why?

Science Notebook Entry:

Invite student volunteers to help write a letter to an Energy Superhero in the class science notebook. Be sure to model how to include the date, salutation, and closing on the letter. Students will be asked to write their own letters for the Evaluate portion of this lesson.

Elaborate: Forms of Energy Sort

Elaborate: Students identify everyday sources of heat, light, and sound energy.

Activity: Venn Diagram Animation

Instruct students to sort the energy pictures using the Venn diagrams in the interactive activity.

Lead a discussion about heat, light, and sound energy and how each form of energy is important to everyday life.

Facilitation Questions:

Were you able to place all the energy pictures in the Venn Diagrams?

How did you decide where to place each picture?

Did you find many pictures that belonged in both circles?

What pictures/cards would you create to add to the Venn Diagrams?

What would your life be like without heat? Light? Sound?

Evaluate: Letter to My Superhero

Evaluate: Students write a letter about energy in their everyday life.

  • Refer back to the letter you wrote in the class science notebook during Explain as a model for students to follow.
  • Provide each student with RM 6: Letter Template.
  • Instruct students to write a letter to an energy superhero (Light Energy Woman, Sound Energy Woman, or Heat Energy Man) thanking him or her for helping them in everyday life or asking him or her to help more in everyday life.
  • Click here to see a student work sample on VoiceThread®.

Differentiation Strategies:

To differentiate for varying student needs, some students may write three separate letters and other students may write one letter. Depending on the student, you may ask him or her to dictate a letter to you and then add an illustration.

It would also be appropriate to provide sentence stems and labeled pictures of different energy sources in everyday life.

G/T: Instruct students to write a letter from the perspective of an energy superhero explaining how he or she provides energy to people.

Join the Course

The activities in this resource are also featured in the full-length professional development course, Science Academies for Grades K-4, Part 1. This course is designed to demonstrate the application of the 5E instructional model in a K-4 classroom. Throughout the course, connections will be made to the College and Career Readiness Standards (CCRS), the English Language Proficiency Standards (ELPS), and Response to Intervention (RtI) in order to strengthen participants’ knowledge of these frameworks within the discipline of science. This course is managed by Region 4 (101-950): Texas Education Service Center. CPE credit is 12.

To join the Science Academies for Grades K-4, Part 1 course, click on the button below.