How does electricity work?

Lesson Plan

State Standards:


Central Concept: Stationary and moving charged particles result in the phenomena known as electricity and magnetism.

5.3 Analyze simple arrangements of electrical components in both series and parallel circuits. Recognize symbols and understand the functions of common circuit elements (battery, connecting wire, switch, fuse, resistance) in a schematic diagram.

Essential Questions:

  1. How does electricity work?
  2. How do principles the of electricity learned effect your life?
  3. Under which circumstances is it better to use series circuits?
  4. Under which circumstances is it better to use parallel circuits?

Lesson Question:

How do series and parallel circuits work and differ from each other?


1. What do you See? (Elicit) Make 5 or more statments about the picture below.
*note I edited the following image to make it seem like a couple lights have burnt out

2. Watch a this brief video about parallel circuits (Engage)
(Embedding has been disabled for this video)


Complete the following lab activity: Currents, Voltage and Resistance Download PDF-4.8 MB (Explore)

Lesson Experiences:

1. Watch the following video to learn about circuits and then write a summary explaining what a circuit is and how they work. (Explain)

2. Complete this review activity and answer the quiz questions to test your knowledge about circuits. (Explain/Engage/Evaluate)


Congratulations you have finished this Unit! You should now be able to understand how electricity works in series and parallel circuits. You should also be able to describe how the principals discussed in this chapter effect various areas of your life. Finally, you should be able to use your knowledge of series and parallel circuits to decide the appropriate one to use in various circumstances.


1. You will use the wires and switches to make a YouTube video that they will demonstrate how switches works. (Elaborate). I will check each video for accuracy. (Evaluate)

2. You will submit your lab report online via Google Docs. (Evaluate)

3. You will be given a project that must address ONE of the following topics in a creative way: (Extend/Evaluate)

During class you will pick one of the above listed topics. You will then use the list below to decide how you want to convey your ideas about the topic. You will then design your genre piece (try to keep it fresh and challenge yourself by doing a new genre type that you have not submitted to me before). Along with your genre piece you will provide a writers memo that shows the connection between your creative work and the scientific information behind it.


Project_Rubric_Pic.jpg*I constructed this rubric from a similar one I received while taking graduate courses at Eastern Nazarene College.


Image Credits: