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ERIC Number: EJ1123138
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Dec
Pages: 5
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0036-8148
Understanding Energy
Menon, Deepika; Shelby, Blake; Mattingly, Christine
Science and Children, v54 n4 p54-58 Dec 2016
"Energy" is a term often used in everyday language. Even young children associate energy with the food they eat, feeling tired after playing soccer, or when asked to turn the lights off to save light energy. However, they may not have the scientific conceptual understanding of energy at this age. Teaching energy and matter could be challenging at the K-2 level because they are abstract concepts. Nevertheless, developing a concrete understanding of energy at an early age is important for children in order to rationalize why we need energy from food or why wearing gloves helps keep our hands warmer. The "Next Generation Science Standards" ("NGSS") emphasize energy beginning as early as K-2 (NGSS Lead States 2013; see Connecting to the "NGSS" on p. 58). In this article, we share our success with implementing a 5E (Bybee 1997) inquiry-based energy lesson that engages K-2 students in energy flow in everyday life. Students observe events and the associated patterns and use these patterns to formulate their evidence-based explanations for energy transfer. Drawing from "NGSS" performance expectation K-PS2-1, we use the physical model of a ball rolling down a ramp set at different heights to illustrate the effects of motion and energy. The lesson presents ample opportunities to extend the activity through connections to the "Common Core State Standards for ELA." Our main focus in the lesson is to build a strong foundation and excitement toward the abstract concepts of energy and matter at an early age, in order for these concepts to further develop during later grade levels.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Education; Kindergarten; Primary Education; Early Childhood Education; Grade 1; Grade 2
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A