# It`s Electric

```Introducing
It’s
Electric Continents
How to use these notes
General activities
These teacher notes and independent activities can be
used to introduce pupils to electricity. These activities
are suitable for pupils in Years 3 and 4. All the activities
included are stand-alone, but by using them alongside
the books in the series It’s Electric! children can explore
the topics in more detail.
• Draw a picture showing as many uses of electricity as
possible.
• Design a poster on electrical safety for younger children.
• Write a story about an ordinary day when all electrical
appliances (even the battery-operated ones) stop
working.
Using batteries
• Collect toys and small appliances that run on batteries.
Give pupils practice in taking the batteries out and
putting them in again so that the toys and appliances
work.
• Make copies of Activity 1, then ask pupils to sort
everyday objects into two groups: those that use
batteries and those that don’t.
• In class, collect old batteries ready for recycling.
Quoted below are statutory requirements from the
programmes of study in the national curriculum in
England framework document, July 2013.
Science
Year 4
Electricity:
Making a circuit
• identify common appliances that run on electricity.
• construct a simple series electrical circuit, identifying and naming its basic parts, including cells, wires, bulbs,
switches and buzzers.
• identify whether or not a lamp will light in a simple
series circuit, based on whether or not the lamp is part
of a complete loop with a battery.
• recognise that a switch opens and closes a circuit and
associate this with whether or not a lamp lights in a
simple series circuit.
• recognise some common conductors and insulators,
and associate metals with being good conductors.
• Construct a simple series electrical circuit and draw a
circuit diagram to represent it.
• Design and make a game or activity that uses an
electrical circuit. For some ideas, watch this short
video clip: www.bbc.co.uk/learningzone/clips/
using-electrical-circuits-to-make-games-andactivities/2192.html
• Make a simple switch for an electrical circuit, using a
piece of cardboard and a paper clip.
Conductors and insulators
• Make copies of Activity 2, then ask pupils to investigate
materials to find out which are conductors and which
are insulators.
• Find out more about power lines.
• Create a static electric charge by rubbing an inflated
balloon against your jumper. Use the static charge to
attract light objects, such as small piece of paper or
discussion points
Write the word ‘Electricity’ in the centre of the board.
Challenge pupils, working in pairs or small groups, to
list a given number of things that use electricity within
a given time limit. (For example, can they list 20 things
that use electricity in 3 minutes?) Discuss how much we
rely on electricity in everyday life. Ask, have they ever
experienced a power cut? What happened? Did they
have to change what they were doing or planning to
do? What if the power went off in school right now and
stayed off for the rest of the school day? How might that
affect us?
www.raintreepublishers.co.uk
1
Using electricity
• Make copies of Activity 3, then ask pupils to sort
electrical appliances according to whether they
produce light, movement, heat or sound.
• Find out more about electric forms of transport.
• Do an electric use survey to find out where you can
save electricity at home or at school.
Books in the It’s Electric series:
•
•
•
•
Using Batteries
Making a Circuit
Conductors and Insulators
Using Electricity
the website: www.raintreepublishers.co.uk/
product/9781406232318
Websites
Use these websites to find out more about electricity.
• Learn about electricity and electrical safety at Switched
On Kids from the Electrical Safety Council. www.
switchedonkids.org.uk
• Make electricity from a lemon! Try this lemon battery
experiment from BBC Schools. www.bbc.co.uk/
schools/podsmission/electricity/pod.shtml
The Learning Circuits site has a range of interactive
activities on circuits.www.learningcircuits.co.uk
www.raintreepublishers.co.uk
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Activity 1: Does it use batteries?
Name ______________________________________ Date ______________________
Look at these objects. Some of them use batteries. Some of them don’t.
Draw or write each object in the correct part of the table.
Batteries
No batteries
Learning outcome: Sort objects according to whether they use batteries or not.
&copy;Raintree Publishers 2013. This page may be photocopied for classroom use. www.raintreepublishers.co.uk
3
Activity 2: Conductor or insulator?
Name ______________________________________ Date ______________________
You will need
• 2 batteries in a battery holder
• 1 bulb in a bulb holder
• 3 lengths of wire with crocodile clips on both ends
What to do
1. Use the wires to connect the bulb and the batteries like this:
2. Collect materials you want to test to find out if they are conductors or insulators.
3. Predict which materials you think are conductors and which you think are insulators. Record
&copy;Raintree Publishers 2013. This page may be photocopied for classroom use. www.raintreepublishers.co.uk
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Activity 2: Conductor or insulator? (continued)
Name ______________________________________ Date ______________________
4. Test each material to see if it conducts electricity. To do this, place the material between the two
free crocodile clips, like this:
What will happen to the bulb if the material you are testing is a conductor?
What will happen to the bulb if the material is an insulator?
&copy;Raintree Publishers 2013. This page may be photocopied for classroom use. www.raintreepublishers.co.uk
5
Activity 3: Using electricity – What type of energy?
Name ______________________________________ Date ______________________
Look at the appliances below. What type of energy does each appliance
produce? Does it produce light (L), heat (H), movement (M), or sound (S)?
Some appliances may produce more than one type of energy.
Circle the right letter or letters under each picture.
L H M S
L H M S
L H M S
L H M S
L H M S
L H M S
L H M S
L H M S
L H M S
L H M S
L H M S
L H M S
&copy;Raintree Publishers 2013. This page may be photocopied for classroom use. www.raintreepublishers.co.uk
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