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Year 5 and 6

These lessons provide students with the opportunity to investigate the world around them and refine strategies to promote safe behaviours with electricity. 


  • Time

    60 - 90 minutes required

  • Curriculum links

    ACPPS054 – Plan and practise strategies to promote health, safety and wellbeing.
    ACELY1704 – Plan, draft and publish imaginative, informative and persuasive print and multimodal texts, choosing text structures, language features, images and sound appropriate to purpose and audience.

  • Learning goals

    1. Select appropriate responses to promote safety in different situations.
    2. Use appropriate language for target audience.

  • Resources

    - Storyboard worksheet (PDF)

  • Lesson sequence

    Begin with a discussion about where electricity can be found. Guide the discussion towards helping students recognise that although electricity is mainly used indoors there is a lot of equipment outdoors that brings electricity to their home.

    Explain that sometimes younger students don’t realise how much they are around electricity outdoors. Their task is to write and illustrate a short story to help promote the safety of younger students when playing outdoors.

    Using the storyboard worksheet students should list multiple ways of playing safe outdoors, away from electrical equipment.

    Once they have all their ideas listed, encourage students to centre their stories around the hazard they feel is most important for year one students to understand. Hopefully this will encourage a diverse range of stories.

    Inform students that the main message to be communicated to young students is that when they see an electrical hazard they need to:

    1. stay away
    2. don’t touch
    3. tell an adult.

    They should also include that electricity is used indoors but they are around it outdoors.

    Allow students appropriate amount of time to develop their stories and illustrate or import pictures of themselves doing the right thing with electricity.

  • Extension

    Organise a younger buddy class (year one is recommended) and have students read their stories to small groups about staying safe with electricity.


  • Time

    45 - 60 minutes required. 

  • Curriculum Links

    ACSSU097 – Electrical circuits provides a means of transferring and transforming electricity.

  • Learning goals

    1. Recognise the need for a complete circuit to allow the flow of electricity.
    2. Investigate different electrical conductors and insulators.

  • Resources

    Conductor or Insulator? worksheet (PDF)
    Circuit materials per group and one for demonstration; 1 x switch, 1 x 9V battery and battery holder, 3 x crocodile clips, a variety of materials including aluminium, copper and zinc objects, 1 x light bulb and bulb holder

  • Lesson sequence

    Begin by having students gather around a simple circuit you have set up previously. Discuss:

    What is a circuit? A continuous path for electricity to flow through.

    What does a circuit need to work?  Continuous path, power source and conductive material. Introduce that electricity can move through certain materials, conductors but not others which are call insulators.

    Ensure students know the names of all the equipment.

    Distribute circuit equipment and ask students to create the same simple circuit using the Conductor and Insulator worksheet.

    Check each group’s circuit to ensure it is working and discuss conductivity:

    How do we know the circuit is working?

    What materials is electricity flowing through?

    Ask the students how they could test different materials for electrical conductivity? Guide students to suggest introducing a test material to complete the circuit and if the light glows then then test material is a conductor, if it does not, it is an insulator.

    Distribute the Conductor or Insulator? worksheet and discuss the investigation, including what materials will be tested, how to ensure the test is fair and variables.  Scaffold teh students' prediction by asking what do they think will happen when different materials (aluminium, zinc, copper and other defined materials), are added to the simple circuit.

    Have students work through the investigation with the provided materials and ensure students record their observations.

    Following the investigation, discuss as a class the findings, including if there is a pattern.


  • Extension

    Allow students to disassemble old toys that light up or make noise to see what materials are used and circuits in action.