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Lesson Plan: Different Types and Sources of Energy

Subject:  Science

Grade: 4

Lesson Objective: To understand that there are different types and sources of energy

Next Gen Science Standard:  4-PS3-2. Make observations to provide evidence that energy can be transferred from place to place by sound, light, heat, and electric currents.



  • What do you think energy is?  (Allow the students to answer.)



  • Today, we are going to be talking about energy.
  • Energy is power that comes from a source and is used to provide light, heat or to work machines.
  • There are different kinds of energy and energy comes from different sources.
  • One type of energy is kinetic (ki-ne-tic) energy and one type of energy is potential energy.
  • Kinetic energy is energy that is in motion.  A ball bouncing is using kinetic energy.
  • Potential energy is stored energy.   A ball that is sitting at the top of a hill has potential energy.
  • When you are sitting at your desk with your hands on your desk, your hands have potential energy.  When you raise your hand or move your hand to write, your hand has kinetic energy.
  • Now, we are going to talk about the sources of energy.  That means where energy comes from.
  • Energy comes from many different places. 
  • Coal, natural gas and oil are all burned and then turned into energy.
  • Energy can also come from the sun, wind, heat in the Earth, water and natural things like wood and corn.
  • Energy comes from the sun is called solar energy.  Solar panels soak up the sun and turn it into energy.
  • Wind, energy and heat from the Earth are all caught and used to make energy.
  • Wood, manure and corn can be burned and that is used to make energy.
  • Energy is transferred from place to place and can then be used to produce motion, sound, heat or light.
  • You are now going to look around the room and make a list of the different places where you see energy being transferred and producing something.
  • Does anyone have any questions?

Allow about 10 minutes for the students to make a list of places where energy is being transferred.



  • Who would like to share the list that you made?  (Allow the students to answer and share.)


Written by Kimberly Greacen, Education World® Contributing Writer

Kimberly is an educator with extensive experience in curriculum writing and developing instructional materials to align with Common Core State Standards and Bloom's Taxonomy.

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