We will add pictures and content hereBatteries and Bulbs

battery_pics2.jpg *left & below: These pictures also shows other ways a closed circuit can be made.

battery_pics4.jpg battery_pics5.jpg

Science Content and Background knowledge needed for topic:
• Students must have prior knowledge of what electrons and neutrons are and how they move.
• Students need to understand the content of what they believe will work and may not work.
• Students must be aware of what a light bulb is and the function of the light bulb.
• Students must be able to identify the (+)/(-) ends of a battery and what function the battery performs.

Terms Your Students Should Know and Understand:
• Electricity: the flow of electrons (also called electric current).

• Insulator: stops the flow of electrons. (The cover of the light bulb is an insulator; as well as, the black circle at the bottom of the light bulb.)

• Conductor: allows electrons to flow.

• Closed Circuit: a closed path for electrons.
*The above picture is an example of a closed circuit which is shown by the lit bulb.

• Open Circuit: have a break in the flow of electrons.
*The above picture is an example of an open circuit which is proven by the unlit bulb.

Start this lesson off by providing your students with a story of how you dropped and broke your flashlight when the power went out last night. Explain to the students how the light bulb, battery, and wire fell out of the flashlight; now you need their help to see if the flashlight could possibly still work.

Explore: During the explore stage of this lesson the educator should then give the students a battery, light bulb, and wire. Next ask the students to work with a partner to try several ways in getting the bulb to light; and then recording the ways they try in a table. One side of the table should be labeled “lights up”, and the other side should say “does not light”. Allow the students to work for approximately 10-15 minutes depending on how many have been successful with relaying energy to the bulb.

Explain: Once most of the groups have figured out how to make their light bulb work, you can then begin the content area of the lesson. Next, ask the groups to use note cards to draw the different ways that were tried in which to illuminate their light bulb and also include those that did not work. Once the groups have completed this assignment, have the class discuss as a whole what the groups tried and found would to work. By allowing the students to share as a class what worked will give the students the opportunity to see different ways that would work. (Two ways that proved to work during our class time were: 1) Placing the wire around the metal part on the bottom of the light bulb with the wire going to the (+) end while the bulb touches at the (-) end. 2) By having the wire touch both ends of the battery (+)/(-) and then lying the light bulb on top of the battery while touching the bottom of the bulb to the wire.
*The above picture is an example of a chart showing what worked and what did not seem to work. (The chart is a great way to have students organize thier data.)

Expand: Expand on the activity by giving each group of students another wire and have them see if they can complete a circuit using the extra wire as well as their previous materials.

Evaluate: To evaluate the students after this activity, get students in a group circle and have each person holding a rock. Start by passing the rock to the right(giving it to the person to your right) and you can only be holding one rock at a time. Select a student to be the light bulb and when she recieves a rock have her light up by doing some sort of movement. This helps demonstrate to the students how the electrons flow within a closed circuit. Then explain to the students how there must be a closed circuit for the bulb to light since it requires a continuous path for the electrons to flow.

NCSCOS: Competency Goal 3: The learner will then make observations and conduct investigations to build an understanding of magnetism and electricity.
3.03 Design and test an electric circuit as a closed pathway including an energy source, energy conductor, and an energy receiver.
3.05 Describe and explain the parts of a light bulb.
3.06 Describe and identify materials that are conductors and nonconductors of electricity.
3.07 Observe and investigate that parallel and series circuits have different characteristics.

Questions remaining from this topic:
• Would it be too much to challenge students by giving them an actual switch and asking them to use it when trying to light the bulb?
• When doing this lesson, could the teacher possibly provide each student with different objects such as: paper clips, thumb tacks, magnetic, and a key then ask the students to see which ones would serve as conductors or insulators?
• Should you talk about magnetic objects when doing an activity such as this one; or would you do this in an entirely different lesson?

Spelunking Story Activity:
Imagine that you have gone on a spelunking trip with fellow classmates. While in the caves, your head-light on your helmet burns out. You have enough resources with you to create a switch, make a light and safely get out of the cave. Write a newspaper article with pictures that tells your story. It can be in the form of an interview, head-line story or article. Be sure to explain how you made the switch and use the appropriate vocabulary. Be as creative as you want to be!



  • Why Does A Battery Make It Go? by Jackie Holderness
  • Electric Mischief: Battery Powered Gadgets Kids Can Build by Alan Bartholomew
  • Batteries, Bulbs, and Wires by David Glover
  • Electricity: Bulbs, Batteries, and Sparks by Darlene R. Stille
  • Battery Science: Make Widgets That Work and Gadgets That Go by Doug Stillinger
  • Science in Seconds for Kids by Jean Potter
  • Make it Work: Electricity by Wendy Baker
  • Charged Up! The Story of Electricity by Jacqui Bailey and Matthew Lilly

Online Sources:

Related Demonstrations:

Possible modifications to the activity to meet the needs of diverse learners:
• For a student with poor motor skills, the teacher should have bigger supplies. The original sized battery, bulb, and wire are small and may be hard to hold on to and work with on this lesson.
• For students who are blind, a partner should describe the lesson to them in words and help them to feel what is going on in this activity.
• For an ADD student, individual tasks should be assigned to them within the group so that they stay on task. The teacher should break instructions into sequential steps. Then, model examples, coach, and supervise. It is important for the teacher to walk around and monitor the students progress carefully during the activity.
• In general, the teacher should always ask questions in a clarifying manner, then have the students with learning disabilities describe his or her understanding of the questions.
• For diverse learners, it is important to give assignments both in written and oral form.
• For diverse learners, it is important to give plenty of reinforcement when it is evident that the student with a learning disability is trying things that are made difficult by the disability.
• Have frequent question-and-answer sessions for students with learning disabilities.
• In this activity, it will be helpful to clearly label equipment, tools, and materials and color-code them for enhanced visual recognition.
• To minimize student anxiety, provide an individual orientation of the activity and equipment and give extra practice with tasks and equipment.