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How is your body similar to a car?
Energizing Everything Unit | Lesson 1 of 8
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How is your body similar to a car?
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Energizing Everything Unit | Lesson 1 of 8
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DISCUSS:

Do you think the "energy" used by people and the "energy" used by cars is the same thing? Why or why not?

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DISCUSS:

Where does this get its energy from?

toy-car

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DISCUSS:

The more you stretch a rubber band, the faster an object goes. Why?

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Extensions

Below are ideas for extending this topic beyond the Exploration and Activity you just completed.
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Activity: Energy Scavenger Hunt

In this Mystery Science extension activity, students look at a drawing of a town and search for all the places where they see stored energy being released. The activity can be found here and the answer key can be found here

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Readings

These readings are free with registration at Newsela or Readworks, both excellent sources of supplemental reading.

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Videos

Food stores energy and is the fuel that keeps your body moving. Calories — yes, the same calories that people talk about when they are trying to lose weight — are one way to figure out how much energy food contains. More calories means there is more energy. This video shows you another way that scientists can figure out how much energy is in a particular food -- by setting the food on fire! (3:15)

An Italian restaurant owner built a people-powered amusement park. It only contains rides that are powered by people. To ride these rides, people have to put energy in by pedaling, pushing, or climbing. Take a quick tour and watch people use their own energy to make a loop-de-loop! (1:38)

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Overview
Grade 4th
Topic Energy, Energy Transfer, & Electricity
Focus Speed & Energy
Print Prep
Activity Prep

THIS LESSON WAS REVISED ON APRIL 27, 2019. Here is a link to the previous version.
In this lesson, students learn that we use the energy from food to make our bodies move just like cars use the energy from gasoline to move. In the activity, Twist-o-matic Tester, students build paper models of an amusement park ride called the Twist-o-Matic. The ride stores energy in rubber bands and spins around when the energy is released. Students compare the speed of the spins when they use a thin rubber band versus a thick rubber band.

Preview activity

COVID-19 Adaptations
Digital worksheets available
Teacher demo recommended

Students at home
Set up two Twist-o-matics to demonstrate the activity over video conference. Students need the Twist-o-matic Challenges worksheet (printed or digital) to record their ideas and observations.
Students at school
Set up two Twist-o-matics to use as you demonstrate the activity for your students. Each student needs a copy of the Twist-o-matic Challenges worksheet so they can record their ideas and observations.
Number of students:
Twist-O-Matic printout
Students working alone will need 2 copies of this template.
Print 30 copies
Twist-O-Matic Challenges worksheet 30 copies
Twist-O-Matic Challenges Answer Key teacher-only resource 1 copy
Crayons
Each student needs two colors that can be easily distinguished from one another, like orange and blue.
Details
60
Hardcover Books
Books must be heavy enough to keep a ruler hanging halfway off a table.
Details
30 books
Rulers
30 rulers
Scissors
30 pairs
Rubber Bands (#16)
Any rubber band that is 1/16" wide.
Details
15 bands
Rubber Bands (#62)
Any rubber band that is 1/4" wide.
Details
15 bands
Small Binder Clips (3/4")
60 clips
Prep Instructions

We suggest students work in pairs. Homeschool students can work on their own, but they will need to make two models so that they can compare and contrast what happens when using the thin versus thick rubber band.

Prepare the Classroom Space

Student pairs will need to set up two Twist-O-Matic models next to each other for easier comparison between the thin and thick rubber bands. Each model takes up the space of about one student desk, so it is easiest if student pairs are sitting next to one another.

Overview
Grade 4th
Topic Energy, Energy Transfer, & Electricity
Focus Speed & Energy
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