Friday, January 24, 2014

K for Kinetic Energy

See what we did for other letters in the Alphabet in Simple Science.

K for Kinetic Energy
Science Notebook Page (Click the picture to print).
I defined Kintetic energy as the energy something has when it is moving.  Since energy is kind of an abstract concept, we read some books and watched The Magic School Bus Get Energized.  We talked about how there are lots of different kinds of energy.  We eat food to give our bodies energy.  Moving things have energy.  To throw or kick something we have to use or give it energy.  It takes energy to heat things up.  I did not go into specifics like thermal energy, gravitational potential energy, etc.  Honestly, I don't care if he remembers that kinetic is the energy of moving things as opposed to the other types.  I was just introducing the concepts in general.  I really want to stress that my goal exposure to concepts, not mastery!  He is three and I just want science to be fun for him!


We practiced the idea of kinetic by moving across the room.  I asked Xander to come to me using just a little energy and then again using a LOT of energy.  He did a great job walking for the former and running for the latter.

Straws and Balls Energy Activity
Drinking straws
Ping Pong Balls
For this one I enlisted my brother to help (Xander has a wonderful uncle!)!  First I had both of them use the straws to move the balls with just a little bit of energy.  Then I had them move the balls with a lot of energy!  We talked about how fast they moved and how far they went.  Once Xander had some practice with both, I had my brother blow on the ball, but not tell us how hard he was blowing (how much energy he was adding).  Xander had to watch the ball and determine whether it had a lot of energy or a little energy.  He LOVED this activity!

Ball and Blocks Kinetic Energy Activity
Blocks (we used wooden blocks)
This activity was much more related to kinetic energy.  First we discussed what kinetic energy is (the energy something has when it is moving).  I also mentioned that energy lets things do work.  Then I asked him whether something moving very fast has a lot or a little energy.  Then I set up the blocks in a row.  I rolled the ball at them very slowly.  I asked Xander to make some observations about what happened.

The blocks moved, but not very much.  So I asked him if the ball had a lot or a little energy when it was moving.

We repeated the activity where I rolled the ball really quickly.  Once again, I asked Xander to make some observations about what happened.  I asked him whether the ball had a lot or a little energy and how he knew.  Then I let Xander repeat the activity himself as many times as he wanted!

Check out my Alphabet in Simple Science Pinterest Board for more ideas!

Tot SchoolA Mom With a Lesson Plan

1 comment:

  1. I love this! It's great that you're going beyond the typical "preschool themes" to teach things like kinetic energy. Isn't it amazing how much kids can pick up at such a young age!? Thanks for sharing!


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