Electric Currents and CircuitsReturn to Physics Index
Williams, Claudette Dever Elementary School
Objectives 1) To create an awareness of the importance of electricity in everyday life. 2) To introduce basic electrical terms and to illustrate how electricity moves, both in series and parallel circuits. 3) To show the need for a complete electric circuit, how to control electron flow with a switch and to teach series and parallel circuits. 4) Students should be able to wire dry cells either in series or in parallel when given several dry cells, pieces of wire and bulbs. Equipment and Materials ammeter hand crank generator voltmeter Christmas tree lights insulated copper wire Manila folders 1.5 - volt dry cells 1.5 - volt light bulbs and sockets foil brass fasteners or paper clips Recommended Strategy Have materials displayed on table or desks. (make sure there is an obvious display of examples of series or parallel circuits, such as Christmas tree lights) Review the part/importance of electricity in everyday life Discuss and review the vocabulary you will be using circuit volt voltmeter current dry cell ammeter series resistance terminal parallel conductor ampere ohm watt fuse Have students divide into groups in order that they may work cooperatively with each set of materials. a. The first activity should be a simple bulb, battery, and foil assembly. The object of this activity is to reinforce the understanding of what is necessary for a circuit to be completed. A worksheet should accompany the set-up. b. The second activity will be a human circuit - students holding hands and then touching the generator c. The third activity will enable each group to devise its own circuits through the use of provided panels and materials. By the process of trial and error along with previous knowledge the students should be able to trace both types of circuits. A culminating activity will be for the students to begin a take home project which is a question/answer game circuit board.