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Lesson Plan

Heat conduction

Learn what heat is, and investigate how it moves within and between materials.
Science content (2016 curriculum): 
Chemistry: Atoms, Molecules (3-7)
Physics: Heat (3)
Physics: Energy forms, Conservation of Energy (1, 3, 4, 5)
Curriculum connection (2005 science topic): 
Physical Science: Properties of Matter (grade 2)
Physical Science: Chemistry (grade 7)

For younger students heat can be referred to as energy. For older students, what is happening in terms of molecules is helpful.

Review states of matter: molecules in solids, liquids and gases.

Demonstration to discuss what heat is (energy; the speeding up of molecules): Heat conduction in a metal rod.

Experiment to investigate how fast heat moves in different materials.

Relate how heat moves to every day experiences with activity: What materials feel warm?


For grades 2/3, explaining in terms of molecules was too confusing. Stick with heat as energy for all explanations for this grade.

Grades tested: 
Gr 2
Gr 3
Mona Francis
Ramona Smith
Site tested: 
Champlain Heights Annex
Lesson plan originally developed and delivered: 

Scientist in Residence program with the Vancouver School Board