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 4
Construct simple, useful electrical circuits (3-5).

Benchmark Clarification

It is important for students to understand that an electrical charge can move in a complete circuital path. Students frequently have the misconception that charge is used up as it moves through a circuit. A circuit includes a pathway from the battery to the wire to the bulb or bell to the wire and then back to the battery. An electrical circuit may include a switch.

See Materials that conduct electricity, (SCI.IV.1.E.2)..

Students will:

  • Construct a complete circuit

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


Science/Strand IV/Content Standard 1/Elementary/Benchmark 4
Key Concept
Complete Loop


  • batteries
  • bulbs
  • bells
  • motors
  • wires
  • electrical switches
    See Materials that Conduct Electricity (SCI.IV.1.E.2)


Science/Strand IV/Content Standard 1/Elementary/Benchmark 4
Real World Context

  • flashlights
  • battery-powered toys


Science/Strand IV/Content Standard 1/Elementary/Benchmark 4
Instructional Example

Benchmark Question: What are electrical circuits?

Focus Question: How do you build an electrical circuit?

The teacher will invite an electrician, an appliance repairperson, or electrical inspector to the classroom for a presentation directed toward:

  • Safety considerations
  • Tools of the trade
  • The education and training needed
  • Local items of interest

Students will use a battery, wire, bulb, or bell to construct a circuit. To show the complete pathway, students may choose to draw and label a diagram or explain to a peer the circuit created.

Students also will create an incomplete circuit. Another student will explain why the circuit is incomplete and demonstrate what is wrong with it.

Constructing: (SCI.I.1.E.1), (SCI.I.1.E.2), (SCI.I.1.E.3), (SCI.I.1.E.4).

Reflecting: (SCI.II.1.E.1), (SCI.II.1.E.3), (SCI.II.1.E.4), (SCI.II.1.E.5).


Science/Strand IV/Content Standard 1/Elementary/Benchmark 4
Assessment Example

Each student will create a useful electrical circuit using any of the following items: Battery, wire, aluminum foil, masking tape, socket, bulb, bell, paperclip, or brad.

(Give students rubric before activity.)

Scoring Rubric

Student successfully creates or fails to create a complete electrical circuit.


Science/Strand IV/Content Standard 1/Elementary/Benchmark 4


Adamczyk, Peter. Electricity & Magnetism. Usbourne, 1999.

Chapman, Philip. Electricity. Usbourne, 2000.

Glover, David. Batteries, Bulbs and Wires. Kingfisher, 1993.

“Simple Electrical Circuits Matter & Energy.” MASER PROJECT.