Circuits! To be used with the following materials if your school supplies them in a Science Investigation kit: a battery, wires, light.
Students are given the materials above and told that they are to work in a small group to make a circuit. I don't tell them what a circuit is and I don't tell them what they need to do. All they know is that they need to use the materials to do something...and they are making a circuit. Through discovery, the children realize they are using the materials to make the light turn on. I pose guiding questions such as "What shape do you see when your circuit is working?" I then explain that the circle is what is needed for energy to flow through and power the light. Throughout the investigation I give them more tasks, such as pair up with another group and use all of the materials; use only 2 lights and 1 battery; or use only 2 batteries and 1 light. The students discuss the various outcomes of their investigation. The groups must document their work with the attached form.