The student is expected to differentiate among forms of energy, including mechanical, sound, electrical, light, and heat/thermal.
The student knows that energy exists in many forms and can be observed in cycles, patterns, and systems.
Energy Tutorial: National Fuel Cell Research Center (website) - Detailed descriptions of different energy sources employed for electricity generation, transportation, heating, etc.
National Fuel Cell Research Center, www.nfcrc.uci.edu
Introduction to Energy: The NEED Project (PDF) - Explains different energy sources and the usage levels for various energy sources in the United States.
Introduction to Energy
The NEED Project, www.need.org
Heat and Temperature: Zona Land Education (website) - Article that clarifies the difference between heat and temperature, with links to further background content.
Heat and Temperature
Zona Land Education, zonalandeducation.com
Using Heat from the Sun: BioEd Online (website) – Students investigate the power of sunlight to heat water.
- Supporting Lessons
- Assessment Ideas
- Literature Connections
- Additional Resources
Thermal Insulators and Conductors: The Low Carbon Partnership (website) - Test the ability of various materials to conduct thermal energy from the sun, or insulate against it.
Thermal Insulators and Conductors
The Low Carbon Partnership, www.ourplanet.org.uk
Insulation: The NEED Project (PDF) - Test the thermal insulation capacity of various materials.
Elaboration Lessons and Extensions
Testing Materials for Thermal Conductivity: Texas State Energy Conservation Office (PDF) – Students investigate the thermal conductivity of various materials. (The student sheet is designed for 6th grade but the activity itself is appropriate for a grade 3.)
Testing Materials for Thermal Conductivity
Texas State Energy Conservation Office, www.infinitepower.org
Have students answer some or all of the following questions in their notebooks.
- What would life on Earth be like if there were no sun?
- In what ways does the sun help plants and animals to survive?
- Why do people usually swim in the summer and not the winter?
- Why do people need air conditioners? What is life like for those who do not have or use them?
How We Know What We Know about Our Changing Climate: Scientists and Kids Explore Global Warming, Cherry, L., Braasch, G., Sobel, D. (ISBN: 978-1584691303)
Mr. Slaptail’s Curious Contraption, Tharp, B., Dresden, J., Moreno, N. (ISBN: 9781888997347)
The Sun. Ring, Susan (ISBN-13: 978-0736820226)
Arrow to the Sun. McDermott, Gerald (ISBN-13: 978-0140502114)
Heat: Brain Pop Jr. (website) - Background information and free series of activities focusing on the concept of heat.
Brain Pop, www.brainpop.com
The Greenhouse Effect: University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (website) - Useful overview of Earth’s atmospheric “greenhouse effect.” Includes links to related classroom activities (bottom of page).
The Greenhouse Effect
University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, www.ucar.edu
If you need help or have a question please use the links below to help resolve your problem.