Flow of Electrons, Circuits, and Batteries

Grades 3rd-5th

Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS):

Grade 4: 4-PS3-2, 4-PS3-4; Grade 5: 5-PS1-3

Engineering and Design: Grades 3-5: 3-5-ETS1-3

4-PS3-2. Make observations to provide evidence that energy can be transferred from place to place by sound, light, heat, and electric currents

4-PS3-4. Apply scientific ideas to design, test, and refine a device that converts energy from one form to another.

5-PS1-3. Make observations and measurements to identify materials based on their properties.

3-5-ETS1-3. Plan and carry out fair tests in which variables are controlled and failure points are considered to identify aspects of a model or prototype that can be improved.

Objective: Students will examine what electrons are, what a circuit is and how electrons flow through a circuit, and how batteries work as part of a circuit. Students will construct a battery using lemons in order to further understand the necessary components.


 Part I

Lesson Introduction (~15-20 minutes)

  • Students will complete the reading on Part #1, the short “Introduction” paragraph and the “Parts of an Atom” reading section.
  • Have students complete Quiz #1 questions

Part II

  • Students will read the sections entitled “Electric Circuits” and “Introduction to Batteries”
  • Students will complete Quiz #2

Lab: Lemon Battery (~30 minutes)

  • Students will follow along with the video clip and/or the written instructions to conduct the lemon battery experiment.
  • After students have successfully created their lemon battery, answer the reflection questions (Quiz #3)

Student Learning Goal:

  • By the end of the lesson, students should be able to name and define the three particles of an atom, understand what a circuit is, and how electrons flow through the circuit, and how electrons flow through a battery.
  • Be able to build and explain the parts of their lemon battery.