KS3 Science: An Insight into Our Electricity Unit of Work

In this blog Claire Brown, science teacher extraordinaire and one of our science content writers, provides a background to some of her favourite resources.

Electrical Circuits UOW

How long does it take for one teacher to plan an outstanding lesson? Well here’s a little sneak peek into the production process that is hidden behind the doors at Twinkl HQ.

The production process is incredibly rigorous to ensure that the best quality science products are provided for teachers, teaching assistants and parents alike. A single resource pack could take a content writer up to 15 hours to make and that is before it has gone through all the checks. Our fabulous resources are created by a dedicated team of content writers, the resource goes through several stages of peer checking before being designed by one of our talented designers, through another series of checks before finally being uploaded to the lovely Twinkl website.

The Electricity unit of work was my very first assignment for Twinkl, one that I met with great excitement and trepidation. I felt the pressure to ensure my creative flare flowed throughout each lesson. As a consequence, I have several favourite lessons in the unit, but my particular favourite is Lesson 2: Modelling Circuits.

Electrical circuits – all fun and games?

Circuit board

This lesson is all about modelling and reflects my own teaching style. I enjoy teaching lessons where students are ‘tricked’ into learning; drama and role-play are great ways for students to become engaged in their own learning and an effective means for students to remember difficult topics. Students can visualise concepts that they otherwise would not see. Pupils learn about how a model can be used to explain real-life electrical circuits, for example, how can a central heating system be used to describe a series circuit? Which parts represent the battery, wires and bulb? How is the battery able to push the charges around the electrical circuit? How can knowledge of voltage and current be linked to the model? The practical activity of acting out each of the models supports pupils in retaining key information and completing the key assessment information.

Anyone for a jelly bean?

Jelly Beans

The lesson covers models and how they can be used to explain the concept of electric circuits. Two different models are used, The Rope Model and The Jelly Bean Model. Each model is accompanied by an evaluation sheet so that pupils can make links between the model and what it represents in a real-life circuit. Pupils are asked to use their imaginations to come up with their own model for an electrical circuit. Each activity is differentiated explicitly as Bronze, Silver, Gold. The Jelly Bean Model involves using jelly beans! Yummy! Pupils use themselves to create a circuit, with jelly beans being passed along the circuit to represent the flow of charges. At a particular point in the circuit, pupils must recite an impressive tongue twister to demonstrate the resistance in a circuit. The Rope Model may look simple but challenges pupils to think outside of the box to make those links to real life electrical circuits. There is room for plenty of discussion surrounding the advantages and disadvantages of each model type.  I also enjoy the creative element of the lesson, there is a real opportunity for pupils to consolidate their learning and create and evaluate their very own model.

What are people saying about it?

The user, farida1977, has already let us know “I found this resource is very useful to introduce circuit diagrams”. Ozlemozlen has given the resource a five-star rating.

I love to read your comments and reviews on my resources so please don’t forget to leave a comment when you check it out!

Check out our other Electricity resources:

KS3 Electricity Unit Revision Sheets

KS3 Electricity Higher Assessment Pack

KS3 Electricity Knowledge Organiser

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