Understanding Forms and Sources of Energy

Time Required
2 class periods
Students will learn the difference between forms and sources of energy and that energy is useful to us because of its ability to change form.
Slide Deck


Students will learn about the differences between forms and sources of energy in order to talk about and make informed energy choices. Through demonstrations, reading passages, and discussions, students will gain the ability to classify the main types of energy—kinetic and potential. Students will also understand the differences between forms of energy, including radiant, thermal, and mechanical.

Next Generation Science Standards

Disciplinary Core Ideas

  • PS3.A Definitions of Energy
  • PS3.B Conservation of Energy and Energy Transfer
  • ESS3.A Natural Resources

Cross Cutting Concepts

  • Systems and System Models

Learning Objectives

At the end of the lesson students will be able to

  • Describe the main forms of energy and give examples
  • Explain what an energy transformation is and diagram the transformations that take place in an energy system, highlighting waste heat at each step
  • State the major sources of energy and identify them as either renewable or nonrenewable
  • Differentiate between forms and sources of energy
  • Identify the form of energy stored or delivered in each of the major energy sources


  • Lamp
  • 40-watt incandescent light bulb
  • Battery-operated flashlight
  • Hand-generator flashlight
  • Student reading passages and student worksheets

Additonal Teaching Resources