Wanda Pitts - Douglas Academy


Wanda Pitts Douglas Academy
3200 S. Calumet Ave.
(773) 534-9263


The students in third grade will be able to describe and compare how energy in
different forms affects common objects and is involved in common events. Define
kinetic and potential energy.

Materials Needed:

A hammer, nails, wood, ice cube, bat, ball, nerf ball and a basketball net,
matches, rubber bands and a slinky.


What is energy? The teacher will put the definitions on the board. Kinetic
energy is the energy an object possesses because of its motion. Potential
energy is the energy an object possesses because of its position (or state of
strain). An example is a bow when ready to shoot an arrow. Model examples for
students then let students repeat what was demonstrated to the class.

Performance Assessment:

A ball thrown vertically upward leaves the hand with a certain speed and a
corresponding amount of kinetic energy. This kinetic energy is completely
converted to gravitational potential energy as the ball rises and comes to a
stop at its highest point. Then as the ball falls back to earth, its potential
energy is gradually changed back again to kinetic energy. Since the ball
returns to the level from which it started with the same speed with which it
left the hand, it has exactly as much kinetic energy at the end of its flight as
it had at the beginning. Although its energy changed from kinetic to potential
and back to kinetic again, none of its initial energy was lost. Take a rubber
band and stretch it. What kind of energy can a rubber band produce? It takes
energy to pull the rubber band in turn this is potential energy.
Take a hammer, a nail and a block of wood, hit the nail into the wood with the
hammer. What kind of energy was used?
Hit a ball with a bat. What kind of energy is used?
Kinetic to kinetic, kinetic to potential conversion.
Make a slinky walk down the stairs. What kind of energy is used?
Shoot a ball into a basketball hoop. What kind of energy is used?

Look around the classroom, what sources of energy can you find?
A light switch - potential energy

Which has more energy a ice cube or a lit match?
Hold a lit match in one hand and hold a ice cube in the other hand.
The ice has more mass therefore, it has more potential energy.

If you plug in a fan, what kind of energy is produced?
Kinetic energy (motion)
Can the fan produce energy without being plugged in? Yes, you can turn the
blade with your hand.

The students will write their results from the various activities. This
writing assignment will give some practice for the IGAP writing test.


The students should be able to define kinetic and potential energy.
The students should be able to identify when kinetic and potential energy is
used in their everyday lives.


What If? Mind Boggling Science Questions for Kids page 37 Robert Ehrlich 1998

Science Explained - The World of Science In Everyday Life A Henry Holt Reference
Book 1993

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