The Heat is On !!
A Fourth Grade Lesson
Thermal Energy is
Michigan 4th Grade Science Grade Level
• S.RS.04.11 Demonstrate scientific concepts through various
illustrations, performances, models, exhibits, and activities.
• P.EN.E.1 Forms of Energy- Heat, electricity, light, and sound
are forms of energy.
• P.EN.04.12 Identify heat and electricity as forms of energy.
• P.EN.04.42 Describe heat as the energy produced when
substances burn, certain kinds of materials rub against each
other, and when electricity flows through wire.
• P.EN.04.43 Describe how heat is produced through electricity,
rubbing, and burning.
• P.CM.04.11 Explain how matter can change from one state
(liquid, solid, gas) to another by heating and cooling.
Michigan Educational Technology Standards
TECHNOLOGY COMMUNICATIONS TOOLS
By the end of Grade 5 each student will:
1. use basic telecommunication tools (e.g., e-mail,
WebQuests, IM, blogs, chat rooms, web
conferencing) for collaborative projects with
2. use a variety of media and formats to create and
edit products (e.g., presentations, newsletters,
brochures, web pages) to communicate
information and ideas to various audiences
Let’s Jump Start Your Thinking
(What do we KNOW about heat?)
• When we are outside, we can feel the heat
from the sun
• If we touch a hot pan with our bare hand
we might get burned
• When we sit by a campfire we get warm
even though we are not touching the fire
• Other ideas……..
(WHAT do we want to know about heat?)
• Students will understand that adding or
removing heat from a substance can change its
state of matter.
• Students will identify conduction as a physical
property of matter.
• Students will recognize that thermal energy
can be transferred from one object to another
through conduction, convection, and
• Other things we want to learn about heat……
What is Heat?
• The transfer of thermal energy from one
piece of matter to another (Frank, 2000).
• It is transferred naturally from hot matter
to cold matter.
– If you hold an icicle in your hand long enough it
– When you walk in hot sand, your feet get warm
How is Heat Transferred?
• Heat is transferred in three ways:
What is Conduction?
• The transfer of thermal energy by particles
of matter bumping into each other (Frank,
– Hot burner to metal pot
– Hot sand to your feet
– Hot cocoa to your cup
– Warm hand to ice cube
Conductors and Insulators
• Conductors – materials that easily conduct
thermal energy (Frank, 2000)
– Copper Wire
• Insulators-materials that don’t conduct
thermal energy well (Frank, 2000)
Conductors and Insulators Game
What is Convection?
• Convection is the transfer of energy by
particles of a liquid or gas moving from one
place to another (Frank, 2000).
– Hot air is less dense and is forced up by cooler
– As the hot air cools, its density increases and it
– The process then repeats
Examples of Convection
• The air being heated from a fireplace
• The air being heated from a furnace
• Boiling water
• The air being heated in a hot-air balloon
What is Radiation?
• The bundles of energy that move through
matter and empty space are radiation
• Bundles of energy that transfer heat are
called infrared radiation (Frank, 2000).
Examples of Heat Transfer by Infrared
• The sun heating our skin
• Warming your hands on the sides of a
• Heating Food with a Microwave Oven
You’re the Expert Now
(What did we LEARN about heat?)
• Heat is the transfer of thermal energy from
one piece of matter to another (Frank, 2000).
• Thermal energy naturally moves from warm
matter to cool matter (Frank, 2000).
• Conduction and convection need moving
particles of matter in order to transfer energy
• Infrared Radiation transfers thermal energy
through matter and empty space
and Infrared Radiation
Name three ways that
thermal energy is
Thermal energy is
transferred in liquids and
gases through which type
of heat transfer?
A pan on the stove gets
hot through which type of
Question of the Week
You must go on the class Wiki and post a response to the weekly
Frank, M.S., Jones, R.M., McLeod, J.C., Krockover, G.H., VanDeman, B.A., &
Valenta, C.J. (2000). Heat energy on the move. In Harcourt Science,
Teacher’s Edition (pp. E40-E45). Orlando, FL:Harcourt School Publishers.
K-7 Scholar Work Group (n.d.). Michigan fourth grade science grade level
content expectations V1.09. Retrieved from http://www.michigan.gov
Michigan State Board of Education (June, 2005). Michigan educational technology
standards grades 3-5. Retrieved from http://www.mich.gov/documents