The Lesson Plan - Forms of Energy


Science – SC.5. P.10.1

Investigate and describe some basic forms of energy, including chemical, electrical, electromagnetic, heat, light, mechanical, nuclear, solar, and sound energy.

Language Arts – LAFS.5.RI.2.4

Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases based on grade 5 reading and content, choosing flexibly from a range of strategies.

Language Arts – LAFS.5.RI.3.7

Draw on information from multiple print or digital sources, demonstrating the ability to locate an answer to a question quickly or to solve a problem efficiently.

Mathematics – MAFS.5.NBT.2.5 

Fluently multiply multi-digit whole numbers using the standard algorithm.

Big Idea(s)

Forms of Energy:

  • Chemical Energy
  • Electrical Energy
  • Thermal (Heat) Energy
  • Light Energy
  • Mechanical Energy
  • Nuclear Energy
  • Sound Energy

Essential Questions

  • What is energy?
  • Why is it important to have different forms of energy?


Motion Transfer • Energy Kinetic Energy Potential Energy Electric Currents Electrical Energy Light Energy Sound Energy Heat Energy Chemical Energy Electromagnetic Energy Mechanical Energy Nuclear Energy Convert • Natural Resources • Renewable Fuel

Background Information

Energy is the ability to do work. It gives us light and heat and provides us with electricity that enables us to cook our food, operate machinery, and move from one place to another. There a many forms of energy and they may be transformed (changed) from one form to another.

Forms of Energy:

  • Chemical Energy
  • Electrical Energy
  • Thermal (Heat) Energy
  • Light Energy
  • Mechanical Energy
  • Nuclear Energy

Guiding Questions

  • What is energy?
  • How is energy used?
  • In what ways is kinetic energy different from potential energy?
  • What are the forms of energy and what is the impact it has on our daily lives?
  • What are some sources of chemical energy?
  • What happens to the flow of electricity if the circuit is open?
  • What happens when an object gains or transfers heat?
  • What is our main source of light energy?
  • How is mechanical energy different from the other forms of energy?
  • How does nuclear energy work?
  • Do the pros of nuclear energy outweigh the risks?
  • How do sound waves travel through different mediums?

Instructional Sequence

Math Mania

The average American household uses 45 percent of the total energy it consumes for heating and cooling rooms. Each month, 35 MBtu* of energy are used to keep our homes at comfortable temperatures. How many MBtu of energy does the average household consume each year for heating and cooling rooms?

The answer is:

420 MBtu

*MBtu – one thousand British thermal units (used as a standard measurement for natural gas)

Fun Facts

Did you know…

  • That electricity travels at the speed of light – more than 186,000 miles per second?
  • That during a chemical reaction, such as when baking soda and vinegar are mixed, chemical energy is converted to light and/or heat?
  • That as of 2018, twenty percent of the world’s electricity is generated by nuclear energy?
  • That without energy, we could not be able to live?

Teacher Resources