Resource 3: Lighting a bulb – templates and discussion

Pupil use / Teacher resource for planning or adapting to use with pupils

Templates of bulb – for cutting out

Templates of batteries for cutting out

Discussion notes for Activity 1

Be patient. Let your pupils struggle. Remember that ‘easy come’ knowledge, becomes ‘easy go’ knowledge. Don’t interfere. They will be determined and persist. They may eventually work it out by trial and error. Then they will try to make sense of this and ask: ‘What’s going on here?’

You will see that most young children first think it will light if they just touch the bottom of the torch bulb to the top of the torch cell, metal to metal. They look quite puzzled when it doesn’t work.

They think, ‘No! But it needs some wires! Or a wire!’ Then they link a piece of connecting wire from the base of the cell to the top of the cell. It still doesn’t work.

Watch to see what strategies your pupils adopt.

The bottom of the torch bulb must contact the top of the torch cell, and the wire connects the bottom of the cell to the metal side of the bulb.

The five arrangements

They will probably get these on their own, by trial and error. Give them time and keep encouraging them.

One or two groups may realise that it will still work if the bulb is laid on its side.

Adapted from: Umthamo 3, University of Fort Hare Distance Education Project

Resource 2: Safe ways to investigate electricity

Resource 4: Workcards