Engaging Ways to Teach Energy to Students

Are you teaching energy in your elementary science class? Do you want a low-prep way to help your students understand energy in all of its forms? If so, these energy activities and resources are just the right fit for you!

Stock up on books for your students to explore

These lessons and activities will make your Energy unit engaging! Help your students learn about the science of energy with these resources. Complete with book recommendations, anchor chart ideas, and more. Check out these tips and tricks for your elementary science class!

Of course, you will always want to stock up on content books for your students to access throughout science units. Grab a few of these energy books so that your students may read them during independent or partner reading, informational text activities, as references, etc. The collection of books below ranges from energy as a whole to specific energy types, like solar energy! The list contains affiliate links.

Introduce Energy & Vocabulary

Energy vocabulary anchor chart and activities.

Firstly, you’ll want to start with energy vocabulary. As I always say, it is beneficial to start by pre-teaching the vocabulary with science and social studies topics. This allows students to register important concepts and information with some previous exposure.

The best part is that this energy activity can be done with a simple anchor chart. Write your topic “Energy” across the top and create two columns. In the left column write any of the energy vocabulary that your students will be exposed to throughout the unit. *This will depend on your grade level and your content focus.* In the right column record simple and clear definitions for each word. Have a whole-class lesson we are students hear and repeat each word. You can go over this simple definition at the beginning of the unit, but you will refer back to the definitions throughout your teaching.

The books, that you have purchased or checked out from the library, will also be helpful with energy vocabulary. Make sure your students have access to a variety of texts and passages that include information about energy throughout this unit.

Introduce the Types of Energy

After you’ve introduced the topic and pre-taught vocabulary, you will want to dive into the different types of energy. As I mentioned earlier, this will depend on your grade level and class content.

You are most likely teaching about light, heat, and sound energy. If so, you can use a simple introductory energy activity with an anchor chart like the one on the left. Include a title and the three types of energy. Then, have students write examples of where those types of energy can be found!

Subsequently, if you’re teaching the 5 types of energy, use the acronym M.E.L.T.S. This will help your students remember mechanical, electrical, light, thermal, and sound energies. Be sure to include a description and examples for this activity, as well!

Energy reading flip book and activities.

This Energy Science Flip Book covers energy and the three types. As an introductory activity, students can read, answer, list, sort, and write about energy! Then, dig deeper into each type of energy with more specific texts and passages over the length of your unit. Be sure to allow a fair amount of time for each energy type!

Dive Into Types of Energy

Energy videos and activities.

For your exploration of the types of energy, use both text and media. BrainPop and BrainPop, Jr. always have great videos on science topics. In addition, they use clear explanations and highlight vocabulary that students need to pay attention to! The collection of energy videos contains one for each type! With the addition of graphic organizers, quizzes, and interactive activities, this is a great stop for your students’ exploration!

Additionally, informational texts on each type of energy will be essential! Students should read and write about energy in all of its forms. You can use printable passages and activities like the ones above. They are from the No-Prep Energy Pack and come with reading passages, informational organizers, comprehension and writing activities, mini-books, cut and paste activities, and more!

Otherwise, students can find informational texts and articles on their devices. Post online articles or links to digital textbooks, where students can read about each type of energy! Many times, your district library system will offer access to their digital database. *As I mentioned, be sure to allow plenty of time for your students to learn about each type of energy on its own.

Teach students about Conserving Energy & Renewable Resources

Printable energy passages for elementary science class.

Lastly, don’t forget to teach about conservation and resources. Students can learn about renewable and non-renewable resources and tie the information back to each type of energy. Refer back to your anchor charts and studies. Which items are we using each day that use non-renewable resources? After reading about the types of renewable resources, your students can propose projects or changes in order to use more non-renewable resources. Simultaneously, they can come up with ideas for how to conserve energy in their day-to-day lives

Suggested Resources

The resources available from this post are linked in the buttons below. Take a closer look at the Energy No-Prep Pack and the Energy Flip Book. Both come with printable and digital options!

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