Strand IV
Use Scientific Knowledge from the Physical Sciences in Real-World Contexts


Science/Strand IV
Content Standard 1
All students will measure and describe the things around us; explain what the world around us is made of; identify and describe forms of energy; and explain how electricity and magnetism interact with matter (Matter and Energy)


Science/Strand IV/Content Standard 1


Science/Strand IV/Content Standard 1/Elementary
Benchmark 3
Identify forms of energy associated with common phenomena.

Benchmark Clarification

Different types of energy are used every day. For examples, wind energy is used to power or change the direction of a sailboat and heat energy or solar energy melts chocolate.

See Heat energy, (SCI.IV.2.E.1).

See Light energy and Sound energy, (SCI.IV.4.E.1), (SCI.IV.4.E.2), (SCI.IV.4.E.3), (SCI.IV.4.E.4).

See Electrical energy, (SCI.IV.1.E.2).

See Food energy, (SCI.III.5.E.2).

Students will:

  • Describe how food energy is used by students to walk to school
  • Describe how electrical energy is used to light a bulb
  • Identify the form of energy needed:
  • to change matter
  • to change the motion of something
  • to do work

Key Concept / Real World Context / Instructional Example / Assessment Example / Resources


Science/Strand IV/Content Standard 1/Elementary/Benchmark 3
Key Concept

  • heat
  • light
  • food energy
  • energy of motion
  • electricity
  • sound


Science/Strand IV/Content Standard 1/Elementary/Benchmark 3
Real World Context
Appropriate selection of energy and phenomena:

  • appliances that use electricity:
  • toaster
  • iron
  • Sun’s heat to melt chocolate
  • water wheels
  • wind-up toys
  • warmth of Sun on skin
  • windmills
  • music from guitar
  • simple electrical circuits with batteries and bulbs and bells


Science/Strand IV/Content Standard 1/Elementary/Benchmark 3
Instructional Example

Benchmark Question: What is the form of energy associated with a common occurrence?

Focus Question: What forms of energy do you encounter in a given day?

Students will generate a class list of forms of energy and examples of each form of energy encountered during a school day. Examples of forms of energy may include heat energy (SCI.IV.2.E.1), kinetic energy in moving molecules, light energy, food energy, energy of motion, electrical energy, and sound energy (SCI.IV.4.E.1), (SCI.IV.4.E.2), (SCI.IV.4.E.3), (SCI.IV.4.E.4).

Using the list of energy forms, students will collect and tally the number of times they observe energy being used in a one-day period at home. Students will determine the best forms of energy for a specific job, such as moving a car, drying clothing, playing the radio, playing ball, or staying warm. Students may either give oral explanations to their group(s) or defend their positions in writing.











































The class will select one common form of energy and investigate its source by visiting a power plant, researching on the Internet, or inviting a power plant employee into the classroom to present and answer questions to connect this to the real world. Presenters such as dietitians, doctors, or nurses can also be invited to explain other forms of energy.

Constructing: (SCI.I.1.E.3), (SCI.I.1.E.4), (SCI.I.1.E.6).

Reflecting: (SCI.II.1.E.3), (SCI.II.1.E.5).


Science/Strand IV/Content Standard 1/Elementary/Benchmark 3
Assessment Example

The teacher will present the following scenario:

The school district has asked us to do our part in helping to conserve energy. Our task is to identify different forms of energy and ways we can help conserve them.

Each student will go on an “energy hunt” around the school to find examples of the different forms of energy.

Suggested list of energy forms:

  • Heat energy (e.g., solar, heating units, cooking, etc.)
  • Light energy (e.g., solar, lighting, aquarium bulbs, etc.)
  • Sound energy (e.g., music room, cafeteria, gym class, traffic)
  • Food energy (e.g., cafeteria, aquarium, guinea pig cage, etc.)
  • Energy of motion (e.g., custodian, gym class, etc.)
  • Electrical energy (e.g., classroom lighting, aquarium bulbs, computers, etc.)

(Give students rubric before activity.)

Scoring Rubric






Accuracy of identification

Identifies one to two forms of energy correctly.

Identifies three to four forms of energy correctly.

Identifies five forms of energy correctly.

Identifies six forms of energy correctly


Identifies six forms of energy and a way in which the energy could be conserved.


Science/Strand IV/Content Standard 1/Elementary/Benchmark 3


“Energy Hunt.” MASER PROJECT.

Harlow, Rosie. Energy & Power. Kingfisher, 1995.

Spurgeon, R. Energy & Power. Usbourne, 1990.

Glover, David. Sound & Light. Kingfisher, 1993.

Introduction to electricity.