Circuit Models

Activity Overview

In Science, we often use models to explain things that are sometimes difficult to understand. Nearly all students have encountered electricity in their lives outside of school and have already started to build their own (often incorrect) ideas about how it all works. Some students don’t realize you need two wires to connect a bulb in their simple circuits because they are used to seeing only a single cord connecting a lamp to the outlet. Using models can be a great way to overcome these challenges and misconceptions as they allow students to imagine what is happening inside the wires.

In this activity, students will create a circuit model to demonstrate their understanding of how electricity works. An example model of the flow of electrons in a wire is saying electrons are like water flowing down the river. Students will be able to imagine rivers much more easily than the abstract idea of electron flow. Students will be able to let their imaginations run wild by creating their own models of electricity!

Have students compare their models to real circuits, either in the description boxes of the storyboard or as a class discussion. Ask students to use their models to describe current, voltage, and resistance.

Lesson Plan Reference

Difficulty Level 4 (Difficult / Complex)

Type of Assignment Individual or Group

Template and Class Instructions

(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Use This Assignment With My Students", update the instructions on the Edit Tab of the assignment.)

Student Instructions

In Science we often use models to explain things that are sometimes difficult to understand. In this activity you are going to use your imagination to create your own model detailing how electrical circuits work.

1. Click "Start Assignment".
2. Create a storyboard that shows how a circuit works by using something else as an example.
3. Write a description underneath to describe how it works.
4. Say which parts represent the wires, bulb and battery.
5. Save and submit your storyboard.
Concept Model Template

Rubric

(You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)

Scientific Models
Use Storyboard That to create a model to describe the concept of the topic. Use text to describe how your model is like the real life concept.
Proficient Emerging Beginning
Visualization
The storyboard clearly illustrates a model of the concept.
The storyboard illustrates a model of the concept. but is difficult to understand.
The storyboard cell does not clearly illustrate a model of the concept.
Identification of Components
You have clearly identified simple and complex components of the concept.
You have clearly identified the simple components of the concept
You have not identified the components of the concept.
Evidence of Effort
Work is well written and carefully thought out.
Work shows some evidence of effort.
Work shows little evidence of any effort.

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