Your Grade 5 Electricity and Magnetism Unit Made Easy

Teaching electricity and magnetism to kids can be a fun and exciting way to help them understand the fundamentals of physics. However, if this is your first time teaching these concepts, it can be a tricky unit to teach. After all, the fundamentals of physics are still PHYSICS!

1) Electricity and Magnetism Concept Attainment Activity

When introducing electricity and magnetism to kids, it is important to start with basic concepts like what electricity and magnetism are, and how they interact with each other.

One concept attainment strategy that I enjoy using is a picture hunt.

First, students work individually to find a picture that best represents electricity and one that best represents magnetism. I like to have them use Google Images or Unsplash to find these images. Then they can copy and paste them into a Google document.

After that, they get a partner and they can only keep two pictures. They need to decide which two to keep (one electricity, and one magnetism).

Next, each partnership is paired with another partnership to make groups of 4 and they repeat the same process, only keeping two images. You can repeat this process with groups of 8 as well.

Finally, students write a simple reflection about why their chosen images BEST represent the concepts of electricity and magnetism.

electricity and magnetism concept attainment activity

2) Understanding the Basics of Electricity and Magnetism

Next, I like to have students complete Electricity and Magnetism lapbooks. These lapbooks become their reference tools for the remainder of the unit. Students work independently to learn more about electrical safety, insulators & conductors, electrical circuit symbols, reading energy meters and how electricity and magnetism are related. Click HERE to check out this activity for yourself!

electricity and magnetism lapbook

3) Experiments

You can then use simple demonstrations and experiments to help students understand how electricity and magnetism work in the real world. For example, you can have them build simple circuits with batteries, light bulbs and wires. You can also introduce topics like electromagnetism by having students create their own electromagnets.

4) Classifying Electrical Devices

In my province, students need to be able to classify electrical devices. So I created this fun scavenger hunt activity! First students roam the school, taking pictures of different electrical devices. Then they create a Google Slides presentation to practice classifying devices. Finally, teams add up their points and complete a self-assessment.

classifying electrical devices scavenger hunt

5) Review

Reviewing electricity and magnetism concepts is EXTREMELY important because they are so complex. I like to complete two different review activities.

1. Electricity and Magnetism Challenges

  • Challenge 1: Students will create an infographic about electrical safety.
  • Challenge 2: Students will create a series circuit
  • Challenge 3: Students will create a parallel circuit
  • Challenge 4: Students will go on a hunt around the school to take pictures of insulators and conductors. They will then organize the photos into a Google Slides presentation.
  • Challenge 5: Students will solve puzzles matching electrical circuits to their circuit diagrams

Want all of the details of these challenges? Click HERE to check out the product on TPT.

electricity and magnetism review challenges

2. Electricity and Magnetism Digital Escape Room

This electricity and magnetism review activity is fun, engaging, and low prep! Kids will enjoy reviewing science concepts and practicing important skills such as teamwork, critical thinking and problem-solving.

Students will review concepts such as electrical safety, insulators conductors and resistors, reading energy meters, simple circuits and more.

Best of all, since this escape room utilizes Google Forms, there is NO MARKING for the teacher! Sit back, relax, and enjoy watching your students break out of this math escape room.

electricity and magnetism digital escape room

6) Assessment

When assessing your electricity and magnetism unit, it is super important to remember that the skills students have learned are just as important as the knowledge. That’s why I always provide multiple assessments for this Science unit. One assessment is skills-based. Students need to build a series circuit, a parallel circuit, etc. The second assessment is a knowledge-based more traditional quiz. That way everyone is more easily able to show what they can do AND what they know.

So there you have it, your grade 5 electricity and magnetism unit made easy!

PS. Want to include some amazing picture books in your electricity and magnetism unit? Click HERE to check out my blog post full of suggestions!

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