During this month we have focussed our learning on a mystery object, a lightbulb. The questions generated by the children have led the learning experiences planned and undertaken.
Electrifying Science and Technology
In this Area of Learning we have focussed on learning about electricity. The children had the opportunity at the start of the learning process to generate questions that they wanted to find out about electricity. There was a wide range of questions created and we prioritised what we wanted to discover as a class. As a result, we decided to start by learning how electricity works.
We started by thinking of as many things as we could that use electricity. The children were surprised by the volume of items that use electricity. We discovered that although all the items look different, the way electricity works in them is identical. There is a circuit that starts with a power source, such as a battery, that flows through wires to the device being powered and then back to the power source.
One of our favourite aspects of learning was using the resources to make our own circuits, using batteries, bulbs, wires, motors and buzzers. After having the opportunity to create our own circuits, the children were challenged to make predictions about given circuits. They had a picture of a circuit and had to decide whether the bulb or motor would work or not and to give a reason for their response. We then made the circuit with the resources to check our predictions.
Conductors and insulators were our next focus. The former is materials that conduct electricity and the latter are materials that don’t allow electricity to pass through it. We discussed why it was important, especially, that some materials were insulators. All children were able to reason that it was really important for safety reasons otherwise we would all get lots of electric shocks. We moved our learning on by planning our own science investigation. The children chose 10 different materials that they wanted to test to see whether they would be an electrical conductor or insulator. The children completed this task independently and it was great to watch the collaboration, exploration and enthusiasm for their learning. The materials tested carried from shoes to tables to sharpeners.
Now that the children have a secure understanding of how electricity works, we will be moving on the explore how electricity gets to our homes. Focussing on the children’s questions of where does electricity come from?