Review: Understanding Electricity is a 32 page activity book in the publisher's Science for Fun series that works very well with young children. It is brightly illustrated with art and photos showing activities in progress. First published in England, the photos of the batteries will not look familiar to your students, they do not look like the ones that are common in the U.S.
Other Information: Understanding Electricity ($4.95 paperback, plus shipping) is available from Millbrook Press, Inc., 2 Old New Millbrook Rd., Brookfield, CT 06804. Call 203-740-2220.
Batteries & Bulbs is a classic unit for teaching students about electrical circuits. It first appeared as a unit in the Elementary Science Study (ESS) curriculum. This adaptation of the unit is closely aligned with the vision of science teaching espoused in the National Science Education Standards. You'll see that the unit responds to individual student experiences, focuses on student knowledge and its application, includes students being involved in extended inquiry, involves continual assessment of student understanding, and it's fun!
Circuit City is an interdisciplinary unit based on electricity concepts that has been very successful in my self-contained fourth grade classroom. We began the unit with basic circuit building and progressed to wiring a cardboard house. In between, the students worked on activities in language arts, math, writing, literature, and social studies.
The activity described here is an extension of Batteries and Bulbs that works very well for teachers and students who have already explored basic electrical circuits. In our district, we have used the activity with 4th graders after several lessons on batteries and bulbs.