7 Lessons About Electricity – From the Archive

Due to an injury and some pressing personal matters requiring my attention, posts for the rest of week will be some favorites from the archives of the blog.

One of my most memorable elementary school science lessons included all of us creating working circuits with multiple switches to illuminate light bulbs. Our power source was 120 volt standard outlet. I don’t think that would be allowed in most classrooms today, but our teacher, Mrs. Carlson, was young and fearless. I was reminded of that lesson this morning when I watched SciShow Kids’ new video about the power of circuits. The video provides students with clear visuals and explanations of how a circuit works including the function of a switch. The video then demonstrates creating a circuit with a battery, small switch, and a light bulb.

Not all electricity is distributed in the same way. Some is distributed through direct currents like batteries in a flashlight and some is distributed through alternating currents which is what you find in the power lines running through your neighborhood. The following from Derek Owens explains the differences between direct current and alternating current.

An interesting TED-Ed lesson on The Science of Static Electricity.

Brain Stuff has a video that offers a good explanation of why we hear a buzzing sound coming from fluorescent lights found in many schools and office buildings. The video is embedded below.

Minute Physics offers a short video explaining how modern light bulbs work and how light bulb design has changed over the last 100+ years.The video also includes explanations of the different types of modern light bulbs and their applications. The video is embedded below.

Hydro to Home is an interactive story of hydro-electric power from raindrops to homes. The story walks visitors through each step of the process of generating hydro-electric power and delivering to consumers’ homes. The story is narrated and along the way there are interactive images that visitors can click on to learn even more information about hydro-electric power.

The Blobz Guide to Electric Circuits is a neat series of interactive animations designed to help students of elementary and middle school age learn how electric circuits work. There are five sections to the series. Each sections builds upon the lessons of the previous section. The series starts with the basics of what makes a circuit complete and concludes with diagramming and building circuits. Each section in the series has a few short lessons and is followed by an animated interactive activity to which students can apply what they have just learned.

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How the Human Body Processes Medicine

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As some of you may have seen on Instagram, I injured my right hand on Friday evening. After looking at the cuts on my hand, the emergency room doctor prescribed a round of antibiotics and a mild pain reliever. So it was with some extra interest that I watched a new TED-Ed lesson titled How Does Your Body Process Medicine? The lesson teaches viewers how medicine swallowed as pills end up in the bloodstream and how the medicine targets an ailment. Viewers also learn about the many variables that can affect the speed and efficacy of a medication in a patient.

The video from the lesson is embedded below.

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7 Ways to Use Google Keep in Your Classroom

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This week’s Practical Ed Tech Tip of the Week featured a demonstration of how to use Google Keep to annotate images. That is just one of many ways that you and your students can use Google Keep. G Suite for Education users, remember that Google Keep is now a core product in G Suite.

1. Create bookmarks with Google Keep.

2. Add Google Keep notes and bookmarks to your Google Documents.

3. Use Feedly with Google Keep on your Android device.

4. Use Google Keep and Feedly in your web browser to keep track of news stories.

5. Share notes and task lists through Google Keep.

6. Use Google Keep to help you work toward your goals.

7. Annotate images in Google Keep on Chromebooks and on Android devices.

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How the Popsicle Was Invented – A Tasty TED-Ed Lesson

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How the Popsicle Was Invented is the title of a recently released TED-Ed video. The short video explains the origin of the tasty treat itself as well as the name “Popsicle.” This TED-Ed lesson doesn’t include any multiple choice or discussion questions. It’s just a fun little lesson for students to think about as the weather warms and ice cream trucks start to appear in neighborhoods (side note, ice cream trucks is one of the few things I miss about living in a suburb).

Applications for Education

You could extend this lesson by doing a little kitchen science lesson with elementary school students. They could experiment with sugar content and flavoring. And they could compare the time it takes for a Popsicle to freeze to the time it takes for an equal amount of water without sugar or flavoring to freeze.

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DocsTeach Adds New Analysis Activities for Students

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DocsTeach is a great resource for teachers of U.S. History. DocsTeach, produced by the National Archives Foundation, provides teachers with a free platform on which they can create online history lessons based on images, documents, audio recording, video recordings, and maps. The lessons that teachers create can be shared with their students through a free DocsTeach online classroom environment.

DocsTeach recently added a new document analysis template for teachers to use to create activities for their students. The document analysis template has teachers choose a document or portion of a document for students to analyze. Teachers can then choose from a menu of pre-made document analysis questions for their students to answer while reviewing a document. Teachers can also create their own questions to add to the analysis activity. After completing the activity set-up it is ready to be shared with students. When students complete the activity online, the teacher can view all of the responses online.

DocsTeach will let you publish your activities to be shared with other teachers. Activities that you publish will appear in the public catalog of activities. That catalog can be searched according to topic, era, activity type, skill, and grade level.

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Applications for Education

DocsTeach’s new document analysis activity template could provide you with a great way to guide students through difficult primary source documents. I’ve always found that even the best readers in my classroom need some help when it comes to analyzing primary sources that are more than 100 years old.

DocsTeach now offers thirteen activity templates for teachers to use in building lessons based on the thousands of artifacts available through the DocsTeach website.

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