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Teacher Notes - Simple Electrical Circuits

Created by:
Janice Simpson
URL: http://www.can-do.com/uci/lessons99/electricity-t.html
URL:  http://www-sci.lib.uci.edu/SEP/CTS99/electricity-t.html 
Suggested Grade Level: 4

Science Content Standards:
S.C.O.R.E. Lessons Standards Search by Grade and Subject
S.C.O.R.E.  Standards and Framework
California Content Standards Grades K-12
California Content Standards Grades K-12 - Science -PDF Format
  • Investigation and Experimentation: 6 d, f  -Students will conduct multiple trials to test a prediction and will follow a set of written instructions for scientific investigation.
  • Physical Sciences:  1 a -Students will build simple series and parallel circuits.
  • Batteries use chemical energy to make energy.  When the chemical energy is exhausted the battery is dead.
  • A current is the flow of electrons through wires, water, objects, etc.
  • Lamps light when it receives energy from the positive and negative terminals of the batteries.
  • Conductors are materials which allow electrical currents to flow through the material.
  • Parallel circuits give lamps normal brightness.  The advantage is the battery lasts longer.
  • Series circuits make the lamps extra bright and may burn out the light bulb.  The batteries do not last as long.
  • The first activity, the lemon battery, may require as many as 10 lemons to light the bulb.
  • Review safety rules with students before starting. 
  • Students should be told to keep wires away from all electrical outlets.
  • If students create a short circuit, the wires will become hot.  Students should disconnect the batteries.


  • Interpreting data, making inferences,  forming hypotheses, making predictions, completing experiments, following directions 
  • Presentations 
  • Computer literacy
  • Effective use of Internet resources


  • Presentations, lab sheets, peer evaluation, rubric


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E-Mail: jb_simpson@hotmail.com
Last Updated August 21, 1999
Revised August 9, 2000