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Thermal Energy and Heat Unit - Distance Learning Included

Teacher Addict
Grade Levels
2nd - 5th, Homeschool
Resource Type
Formats Included
  • Zip
  • Google Apps™
about 105 (not including editable pages or google components)
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Teacher Addict
Includes Google Apps™
The Teacher-Author indicated this resource includes assets from Google Workspace (e.g. docs, slides, etc.).


This hands on thermal energy unit supports 3.P.3 of the NC Essential Standards, but it is a well-rounded, fun and engaging, unit on thermal energy for any middle to upper elementary student! This unit includes a virtual option. Please look at the preview to see EVERYTHING this unit includes.

I'm in charge of teaching my team's math and science and math comes first, so I need my science to be informative, fun, and not take too long on writing the information down. I love all of the foldable stuff, but it takes too long for my students. I would rather them be spending that time on a neat science activity than folding, cutting, coloring, and gluing. I found a way for the students to still be accountable, but not take much time to get the learned information down. Plus, my students' notebooks still look awesome at the end of the year - maybe just not as cutesy!

This unit includes a lot of opportunities for fun, hands-on activities! There is an activity with using friction to generate heat, seeing how molecules are affected by temperature, feeling how heat moves, 2 experiments on conduction, 2 experiments on air/water density and how that relates to convection, 3 experiments on radiation, 3 3 experiments on retaining heat through insulation, and 2 STEM challenges! Check out the preview to see more in detail.

The unit test comes in a paper and a Google Forms version for automatic grading!

I also included a fun, semi-interactive (not SmartBoard but student interactive) PowerPoint for students to participate in at the end of the unit. It is somewhat of review game, but really it is just a fun way to wrap up the unit that the kids love!! Check out the preview to see more in detail.


In this thermal energy unit, students will:

•Use friction to produce heat

• Watch the speed of molecules in cold vs hot water

•Feel heat move from hot to cold

•Do 2 experiments on conduction

•Do 2 experiments on convection

•Do 3 experiments on radiation

•Do 3 experiments on insulation

•Complete two Stem Challenges – one making their own insulation chamber and one making their own solar oven

•Watch Videos

•Learn and Have Fun!

In this unit, students will learn:

•What energy, thermal energy, and heat are

•Everything has thermal energy and heat even ice

•Heat can be produced through friction

•Different ways thermal energy is produced

•Molecules move faster in warm water than cold water (faster moving molecules spread out more making them less dense)

•Heat travels from hot to cold and why

•3 ways to transfer heat and understand how each works: conduction, convection, and radiation

•The difference between conductors and insulators

•Why hot air rises and cold air sinks

•How to use insulators and insulation to help prevent heat loss

•What blubber is and why it is important for marine mammals

•Ways we use thermal energy everyday in our daily lives

This unit includes:

•Detailed Lesson Plans - 8 lessons; 9 sessions

•All Student Sheets (PDF and editable)

1 Vocab Quizzes (PDF, editable, and google)

•2 Study Guides for the Unit Test (Easier and harder version)

•Unit Test (2 pages) *Also a Google Form version

•Word Wall Cards for the Vocabulary (in a separate file)

•Fun PowerPoint with Student Sheet (in a separate file)

•Answer Keys for anything that warrants it


If you only need a specific component of this unit, find the appropriate link below:

Thermal Energy Word Wall

Semi-Interactive Thermal Energy PowerPoint


I have created a bundle of all of my science units! You can find it along with each of the other individual units below:

Science for the Year

Seeds and Plants Unit

Soil Unit

Landforms and Bodies of Water Unit

Matter Unit

Force and Motion Unit

Earth and Space Unit

Human Body Unit

Total Pages
about 105 (not including editable pages or google components)
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
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