ZAP! It’s Electricity

February 15, 2012

Join me on March 7 for Dr. Fred Bortz’s Meltdown Blog Tour. Dr. Fred will write about his path from physicist and work with nuclear reactors to writing for children and young people. It’s a fascinating story.

Here’s the tour schedule:

Spellbinders  Monday 3/5/12 plus giveaway Monday 3/19/12

Simply Science  Wednesday 3/7/12

USA Science and Engineering Festival Blog (perhaps on Huff Post) Wednesday  3/7/12

Writing with a Broken Tusk   March 8
Liz Jones  Friday 3/9/12

TFCB Blog Lerner Books Blog  3/12/12

Cynsations  Giveaway 3/12/12

Nonfiction Monday is at Lori Calabrese Writes

Here’s my post!

Zap! It’s Electricity!

by Buffy Silverman

My Science Library Series

Rourke Publishing, 2012

ISBN #978-1-61741-753-5

Grades 2-3

Nonfiction

“Every day, we use electricity. Electricity powers the lights in our homes and schools. Computers, music players, cell phones, and refrigerators run on electricity.”

Science writer Buffy Silverman  starts with this introduction to electricity by relating the use of electricity to power our homes and favorite appliances. Zap! traces the sources of power used and explains in a simple manner how the power moves to our homes. The book defines conductor and insulator and concludes with how a battery works by making a complete circuit.

Zap! It’s Electricity is filled with large, colorful, and child-friendly photos and diagrams. Back matter includes a “Show What You Know” page, a glossary, index, and websites. The book is a terrific way to get kids interested in electricity and start to explore the power sources we use now and may use in the future.

NASA has some fun experiments and simulations with good information about electricity

Here’s another science resource page for more information on electricity.

Activity

Use the NASA site to learn how to read your electric meter. Mark your reading at the start of the day. Then read it that evening. Use your electric bill to calculate the exact price for one day. Alternatively, use the NASA figure of $0.07 per kilowatt hour.

Then try it another day and see if you can cut down on your electrical use. Compare the two days.

National Science Standard: definitions of energy; conservation of energy and energy transfer; relationship between energy and forces; energy in chemical processes and everyday life

Book provided by Rourke Publishing


The Shocking Truth About ENERGY

October 6, 2010

The Shocking Truth About Energy

By Loreen Leedy

Holiday House, 2010

ISBN #978-0-8234-2220-3

Grades K-3

Nonfiction

“Hi, there! My name is Erg, and I’m pure ENERGY! Everybody loves a powerhouse like me. In fact, people want more and more ENERGY every day. That’s because I make everything happen. The funny thing is, I’m everywhere! The hard part is…”

 

This book is an excellent introduction to energy, the forms it takes, and how we use it. The cartoon like Erg narrates the simple, comprehensive book in an easy to understand text and sidebars and caption bubbles add further information. Following each energy form, including light, muscle, fossil fuels, electricity (and global warming), nuclear, solar, wind, water, geothermal, and plants, a side by side comparison chart shows advantages and disadvantages. The book concludes with a short discussion of ways to save energy and why. Back matter include web links, more detail, saving energy tips, and fossil fuel information.

The publisher says the book is for younger audiences, but I loved it and can see it read by older kids, too. It is succinct and complete, and a wonderful resource. I’d love to see it in every library in this energy-conscious age.

Activity

I won’t reinvent the wheel when these teachers have suggested such excellent activities.

Try one of them!

Teacher activity suggestions from Holiday House with great resources.

Coloring page from Leedy’s website.

More from Leedy’s site.

Here’s where she mentions SimplyScience!

Websites listed on the Holiday House site:

www.proteacher.org/c/409_Energy.html

www.solarenergy.org/students-and-educators

http://www.depweb.state.pa.us/justforkids/cwp/view.asp?q=472538

Here’s an excellent companion book by Anastasia Suen that follows electricity from its source to our homes and includes another activity. I reviewed it earlier. Check out the activity I suggested. It would be a great follow-up to this book:

Wired

Author: Anastasia Suen   Illustrator: Paul Carrick
ISBN: 
978-1-57091-599-4
Ages: 6  - 9

 

National Science Standard: light, heat, electricity, and magnetism

Book provided by publisher for Librarian’s Choices Book review committee.


It’s Electric

March 15, 2009

Wired

By Anastasia Suen

Illustrated by Paul Carrick

ISBN #978-1-57091-599-4

Charlesbridge, 2007

Nonfiction PB

 

wired_3x4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Using poetry and facts, this book explains in simple language and great detail how electricity is generated and then moved through wires to power the appliances and outlets in our homes. The poetry provides the simple text and each line of poetry is supported by facts explained in an easy to understand way. I especially liked the concept of explaining electrons as “dancing in a circle” and that this motion sends the energy along the line, rather than the electrons themselves. This is one of the best explanations I’ve seen of how power is generated and moved. Carrick’s collage illustrations lend a 3-D feel to the art and help the reader better visualize the text. The book has a combined glossary and index.

 

humming, thrumming,

power’s coming.

 

Electricity starts with something you cannot see: electrons. Electrons are part of an atom, and atoms are inside everything, including you!

 

Activity 1

After reading the book, pass out the sequencing list. Have the students cut apart the sentences. Reread the book, allowing time for the students to put the steps in order.

 

SEQUENCING ACTIVITY

Electricity moves along the high transmission wires.

Inside your house, switches and outlets complete the circuit to your appliances and lights.

Water moves big wheels called turbines.

Long coils “step up” the electricity to make it stronger.

Electrons are part of an atom.

Moving makes electrons “dance,” or move.

Short coils “step down” the electricity to send it to homes.

Lines carry the electricity to your house.

Wires to your house and back complete a circuit.

Turbines move the magnet inside a generator.

 

Correct Sequence

1 Electrons are part of an atom.

2 Water moves big wheels called turbines.

3 Turbines move the magnet inside a generator.

4 Moving makes electrons “dance,” or move.

5 Long coils “step up” the electricity to make it stronger.

6 Electricity moves along the high transmission wires.

7 Short coils “step down” the electricity to send it to homes.

8 Lines carry the electricity to your house.

9 Wires to your house and back complete a circuit.

10 Inside your house, switches and outlets complete the circuit to your appliances and lights.

 

This page has good background information.

 

 

Activity 2

Make a simple battery with a complete circuit. See Anastasia Suen’s site for the details.

 

Here is another way to make a battery.

 

Try this page to read an electric meter and add some math to the fun.

 

 

National Science Standards: Properties of objects and materials; position and motion of objects; light, heat, electricity, and magnetism

 


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