Forms of Energy

Download the Activity

Science, Physical Science

Grade 3- 5


Students will create interactive slide shows to illustrate the various forms of energy.


Create an interactive slide show about the forms of energy. This activity lends itself well to cooperative learning groups. Each group could study a form of energy and become experts. After the activity is finished, the experts would be available for assistance when the presentation was being used.
Before the Computer

  • Divide the students into cooperative learning groups.
  • Assign or have each group choose a form of energy.
  • The groups will study the forms of energy and plan the slides for their sections of the presentation.
  • Each group will need to collect pictures to scan, find clip art, draw pictures, and/or take pictures with a digital camera to provide graphic illustrations for the slides.
  • A teacher-made planning sheet is helpful to guide the children, but encourage them to be creative.
  • It might be helpful to have some jump-off topics to help with the research:

How does electrical energy affect our lives?
How are electricity and magnetism related?
What are some common devices for heating?
What are some sources for heat energy?
How can heat energy be conserved?
What is noise pollution?
How can sound energy be changed to other forms of energy?
What are some man-made light sources?
How would our lives be different if we had less sunlight? more sunlight?
What parts of the human body have potential energy?
What is the difference in potential energy and kinetic energy?
Name some kinds of mechanical energy.
What are six kinds of simple machines?
What kinds of energy am I using when I mix the batter for a cake?

On the Computer
  1. Learn the skills necessary to use the presentation program.
  2. Each group will make its section of slides for the presentation, and then the teacher or another learning group will combine them.
  3. The presentation can be as simple or complex as you want it to be, depending on the skill level and creativity of your students. One third-grade group I worked with made a presentation of over 100 slides-each one interactive in several ways-including games and quizzes for evaluation.
  4. The opening screen should have buttons leading to each section.


  • a presentation program like PowerPoint or HyperStudio
  • planning sheet (see the activity sheet link below)
  • scanner (optional)
  • digital camera (optional)
  • clip art disks (optional)
  • drawing program (optional)

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