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Electricity is a part of our everyday life. We take for granted the amount of energy that has to be used to produced electricity in our homes and businesses. For this reason, the students need to know how electricity was discovered. This lesson evaluates the students understanding of what electricity is, its make up, and other inventions created after its discovery.

Group Size: Whole class
Learning Objectives:

The students will:

1. be able to provide historical facts about Benjamin Franklin.
2. be able to define electricity.
3. be able to recite and demonstrate safety procedures. 4. know the importance of safety. 5. know history of light sources before electricity was discovered.

Guiding Question:

Essential Questions:

Who is Benjamin Franklin?

What did he discover?

How did his discovery impact our society today?

Essential Vocabulary:

atom - the smallest part of a element that contains a nucleus, a proton, a neutron, and a electron

electron - carries negative charge

nucleus - the center of an atom

proton - carries a positive charge

neutron - has no charge

usable battery - battery filled with mercury for energy to send an electrical charge

conductors - objects that attracts electricity easily

insulators - objects that resist electricity to flow easily. used to protect against electricity

lightning rod - a rod like conductor is used to attract electricity


Fact sheet on Benjamin Franklin. Light sources cards, resources on lights from the library, pencil, paper, crayons/markers, safety rules, box of paraffin wax, 2 coffee cans, hot plate or stove, candle wick or string, crayon bits, pot larger than a coffee can, water, potholders or oven mitts, long pencil, d cell battery, plastic wrap, hack saw, needle nosed pliers, gloves, vise, glue, scissors, daily writing topic, picture of battery or light bulb, construction paper.


Introductory: The students will be introduce to Benjamin Franklin by reading a short story on his life (15 minutes). We will talk about the experiment he completed to test his theory on lightning and electrical current (15 minutes) The students will be given vocabulary word that are related to Franklin, his experiment, and electricity (5 minutes). We will then discuss the power of lightning and light sources used before electricity was discovered (10 minutes). After discussing the light sources, I will talk to the students about the importance of following the safety rules.

Instructional: The students will be placed in groups of four. Each group will be given a set of cards with names of light sources. The groups will then go to the library to research information on each light source. The requirement will be to obtain the year the light source was used, list some of its disadvantages, a drawing of the light source, and when it was used the most. The students will used their information to create a timeline. The student will have 45 minutes for the entire project. I will give the students a list of some of the rules and have them spend some time coming up with other safety rules they feel are important. The students will learn that Benjamin Franklin created the battery. They will receive a chart showing the parts of the battery. The students will describe what they think the battery looks like inside. I will give the students half of a D Battery to compare to the chart. The students will make a guess on if the battery will light a bulb, why or why not? The students will test their theory by connecting a bulb to the battery half with a wire.

Closing: Ask the students what did they have learned about Benjamin Franklin and the lighting source. Inquire on if any of them are familiar with any of the light resources. If so, where did they see or hear about it? Advise the students that their next lesson will be on another inventor who created the light bulb and other popular inventions used today.

Enrichment and Accommodating Activities: The students will use construction paper too create a daily journal in the shape of a battery or light bulb. Each day the student will be given a topic related to electricity to write on.

Student Assessment: The students will be given a vocabulary matching test. They will get 10 extra points if they can explain how 5 of the vocabulary world relates to electricity. The students will be given a matching test on the parts of a battery and required to list 5 safety rules and why are they important.


Assessment Objectives:

The fifth grade students will:

know the history of Benjamin Franklin

know the parts of the battery

know Benjamin Franklin discovered electricity

know vocabulary word related to electricity

Answer Key or Rubric: See attachment


Exceed Expectation (10)

Meet Expectation (5)

Needs Improvement (0)

Shows knowledge of Benjamin Franklin

Journal Writings on Benjamin Franklin and his impact on society today.

Benchmark or Standards:

SS5H3 The student will describe how life changed in America at the turn of the century.

b. Describe the impact on American life of Benjamin Franklin

Habits of the Mind

S5CS3. Students will use tools and instruments for observing, measuring, and manipulating objects in scientific activities.

d. Identify and practice accepted safety procedures in manipulating science materials and equipment.

Attached Files:

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