The Lesson Plan - Physical Science


Science – SC.5.P.10.1

  • Investigate and describe some basic forms of energy, including light, heat, sound, electrical, chemical, and mechanical. 
  • B. Energy exists in many forms and has the ability to do work or cause a change

Language Arts – LAFS.4.L.3.4

  • Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases based on grade 4 reading and content, choosing flexibly from a range of strategies.
  • Use context (e.g., definitions, examples, or restatements in text) as a clue to the meaning of a word or phrase.
  • Use common, grade-appropriate Greek and Latin affixes and roots as clues to the meaning of a word (e.g., telegraph, photograph, autograph).
  • Consult reference materials (e.g., dictionaries, glossaries, thesauruses), both print and digital, to find the pronunciation and determine or clarify the precise meaning of key words and phrases.

Mathematics – MAFS.4.NF.3.5
Express a fraction with denominator 10 as an equivalent fraction with denominator 100, and use this technique to add two fractions with respective denominators 10 and 100. For example, express 3/10 as 30/100, and add 3/10 + 4/100 = 34/100.

Mathematics – MAFS.4.NF.3.6
Use decimal notation for fractions with denominators 10 or 100. For example, rewrite 0.62 as 62/100; describe a length as 0.62 meters; locate 0.62 on a number line diagram.

Big Idea(s)

Forms of energy.

Essential Questions

  • What are the different forms of energy?
  • How does energy have the ability to work or cause change?


Energy Work Kinetic Energy  Potential Energy Chemical Energy Electrical Energy Electromagnetic Energy Heat Energy Light Energy Mechanical Energy Nuclear Energy Solar Energy Sound Energy

Background Information

Forms of Energy

As we all know energy is defined as the as the ability to do work or move. Throughout time civilizations have learned how to change energy from one form to another. People use energy to move cars along roads and boats through water, they cook food on stoves, make ice in freezers, light our homes and so much more. 

Reviewing what we have already learned that there are two main forms of energy – potential or kinetic.

  • Potential energy can come in forms that are stored including chemical, gravitational, mechanical, and nuclear. 
  • Kinetic energy forms are doing work — like electrical, heat, light, motion, and sound.

Guiding Questions

  • What is energy?
  • What are the different forms of energy?
  • How do we harness energy?
  • What is potential energy?
  • What is kinetic energy?
  • What does it mean when we say we can store energy?
  • How can we use the energy of motion?

Math Mania

Essential Question:

What fraction of all fuel consumed is biomass?

Biomass is organic material that comes from plants and animals, and it is a renewable source of energy. Approximately 14% of all fuel consumption in the world is biomass.

The correct response would be 14/100 or reduced to 7/50

Essential Question:

What fraction(s) and/or decimal would best represent each states generation of electricity?

Approximately 2,850 megawatts of geothermal production capability are obtainable from power plants in the western United States. Geothermal energy production in Utah accounts for about 2% of electricity generation, California accounts for 6%, while Northern Nevada accounts for 10%.  Express each states’ electricity generation as a decimal and a fraction. 

The correct responses would be

Utah  0.02  2/100,    California  0.06  6/100,    Northern Nevada  0.1 10/100

Instructional Sequence

Fun Facts

Did you know…

  • That the United States consumed 20% of the worlds’ petroleum in 2017?
  • That the average household vehicle was driven 10,200 miles in 2017?
  • That vehicles in 2017 were more efficient with improved horsepower and acceleration?
  • That US crude oil exports skyrocket in 2016 & 2017?
  • That the highest average gas prices for vehicle  in the west coast of the United States?
  • That 75% of the energy we use comes from non-renewable energy such as oil, fossil fuels, coal, natural gas and nuclear energy?
  • That burning of fossil fuels is a major contributor to Global Warming. It is expected that the planet’s temperature may rise at least another 2 degrees Fahrenheit up to 11 degrees in the next 100 years?
  • That The International Energy Consumption Outlook 2013 projects that the world will consume 56% more energy between 2010 and 2040?
  • That China is the top energy consumer, followed by the USA and India?
  • That fossil fuels continue to supply 80% of the global energy demand?
  • That Volcanoes and geysers are examples of geothermal energy?
  • That since ancient times, people used hydro power to grind grains?
  • That The largest Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) plant is in the Mojave Desert in California, covering 1000 acres?

Inquiry Type

  • Controlled Inquiry
  • Brain Storm
  • Guided Inquiry
  • Class/Group Activity
  • Think/Pair/Share

Teacher Resources