Lesson Plan : Balloons and Static Electricity

Teacher Name:
 Group 7
Grade:
 Grade 2
Subject:
 Science

Topic:
 Understanding lightning and static electricity
Content:
 static electricity, lightning, attract, repel, strike, thunder, flash.
Goals:
 Students explore static electricity to help them discover what lightning is, how and why it occurs.
Objectives:
 Students will gain an understanding of the forces at work during a thunderstorm through: - using balloons to create static electricity, a good example of electricity in the air - demonstration of positive and negative attraction - role-play of a thunderstorm, including lightning flashes and thunder booms
Materials:
 balloons (at least one per team), puffed cereal, activity sheet: You're the Scientist - Static Electricity. Optional: bowl of water, pepper, small pieces of paper.
Introduction:
 Have the students talk about the sights and sounds of a thunderstorm, then create a thunderstorm in the classroom: see attached
Development:
 Guide a discussion of static electricity by asking the students: - What happens when you rub the fur of a cat and then touch a metal doorknob? - When you shuffle over the carpet wearing socks and then touch someone? Ask students to talk about the "shock" these things cause and introduce them to the term static electricity. Explain to the students that they are going to become scientists to investigate static electricity.
Practice:
 1. Divide the class into working teams of students. Distribute materials and activity sheet (review directions). 2. As the students follow the steps on the activity sheet, guide them to record their results.
Accommodations:
 Depending on the ages and abilities of the students, they may be allowed to work more or less independently as they perform the experiment and record their results. - Some students may need the directions read to them - grouping students with a range of abilities can help lower ability students learn from others, higher ability students can have the opportunity to lead, artistic students have the opportunity to draw the results, good writers can write out results, good readers can read the directions, etc. - Extension: use the optional materials to let advanced students explore static electricity on their own and report back to the class. - create a RAFT writing activity where students write a letter, as the balloon, telling kids what happened during the activity.
Checking For Understanding:
 Look for pictures/answers that show these basic results. Answers to the activity sheet: 1. After rubbing the balloon against your clothes, it will attract your hair and make it "fly" toward the balloon. 2. When you place the balloon against the cereal pieces it will attract them and grains of cereal will stick to the balloon. 3. After a few minutes, the grains will "fly" off the balloon, repelled rather than attracted. After a few more minutes, the same grains will be attracted once again.
Closure:
 As a whole group, have the students discuss their experiment results. Be sure they understand the concepts: - Static electricity can attract or repel - Just as the balloon attracts your hair and the pieces of cereal, clouds and the ground both attract and repel. This electrical process is the basis of lightning.
Evaluation:
  - Did students make the connection from the experiment to the concept of lightning? - Did students gain an understanding of key terms, such as electricity, attract, repel? - Was the lesson differentiated to accommodate all ability levels? - Was there enough scaffolding to allow students to achieve at a higher level?

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