Key stage 2
Key stage 1
To understand that bulbs can be made brighter or dimmer in a series circuit by changing the number or type of components
- Online activities:
- Other resources:
- Symbol cards
- Computers (one for each group or pair)
- Electrical equipment
- Reference books and CD-ROMs
You will need Adobe Acrobat reader to access the PDF files. BBC Webwise has a complete guide to downloading and installing Adobe Acrobat reader.
- Place the symbol cards around the room.
- Ask the children what the symbol for a battery is and tell them to run to the correct symbol.
- Repeat this activity with the other cards. (If the children are in groups, one child from each group could be chosen to run to the symbol).
- Ask the children what is needed to make an electrical circuit complete and the bulb to light up. Discuss the components and reinforce the word 'complete'.
- Ask the children to complete the Changing circuits worksheet (PDF 1.45MB) in pairs.
- Ask the children how a bulb can be made brighter.
- Ask them to get into pairs and investigate the question using the Bitesize changing circuits game. Provide electrical equipment to reinforce the learning.
- Ask the middle and higher ability groups to also investigate how to make the bulb dimmer and the effect of changing the straight wire for a coiled wire.
- Either in pairs or as a class play the Bitesize changing circuits quiz.
- Reinforce key questions if necessary: What made the bulb brighter? What made the bulb dimmer? Discuss the reasons for this. What happened when you used two batteries for one bulb? Why?
- Explain to the children that too much electricity running through the filament of the bulb destroys the filament.
- What happened when you swapped straight wire for coiled wire? Why?
- Ask the children to play the Pod Mission game - read through the pages and create their own 'Who wants to be a millionaire' style quiz.
- Or ask the children to draw circuit diagrams for the circuits created.
- Or ask the children to investigate wires using reference books and CD-ROMs. What is the difference between fuse wire and normal wire used in electric circuits? Why is wire usually covered in plastic? What kind of wire is used in electric circuits?
- Ask the children to compose a poster showing the dangers of mains electricity.
- Or ask the children to play the Digger and the Gang game.