Let There Be Light!

Contributor: Kaitlyn Zimmerman. Lesson ID: 12690

When it's dark and you need to see, you flip (or turn or push) a switch and bink! -- a light goes on! How does power get to that light? Learn about electric circuits and switches!


Physical Science

learning style
personality style
Golden Retriever
Grade Level
Primary (K-2), Intermediate (3-5)
Lesson Type
Quick Query

Lesson Plan - Get It!

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Question: How did Benjamin Franklin feel after discovering electricity?

Not sure of the answer? Keep reading to find out!

  • Can you find a light switch in your house?

If so, go ahead and walk over to it. Now, flip the lights on, then off. Notice that the light switch only allows the lights to be either on or off. (If you have a dimmer switch, you can still notice that the light is either on or off.)

  • Did you know that lights and other electric-powered objects depend on something known as a circuit to get electricity?

Join Dr. Z to learn more about electricity and circuits!

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Electricity is used constantly in our daily lives, and all electric-powered tools and toys and other things rely on circuits.

Both the paperclip and the fasteners are good conductors of electricity, therefore allowing the light to turn on when they are touching. But when they are not touching, the circuit is broken and the light goes out.

This type of circuit is similar to a switch — think of it as a light switch that turns the lights on and off.

  • Can you imagine what it must have been like years ago when there were no lights other than candles?
  • How do you think they "turned" candles "on and off"?

Move on to the Got It? section for more experiments (and the answer to the joke)!

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