Read the text and emphasize that both the charcoal for the grill and oats for the horse are fuels; they are stored chemical energy. The horse’s digestive system transforms chemical energy into kinetic energy and burning the charcoal transforms chemical energy into thermal energy.
Students are next asked to describe the flow of energy in a hydroelectric power plant. Before students turn to talk about this prompt, it will help to determine what prior knowledge students have about dams, power plants, and turbines. If they have a fair idea of how these work, don’t provide any further clues. If students have little prior knowledge, consider saying something along the lines of:
There are turbines in power plants in dams. Turbines in dams are deep inside. But you have probably seen a turbine. Where would that be?
On a jet plane or a turbo-charged car engine
How do turbines create power?
They rotate rapidly.
How is that power turned into electricity?
Ask students to look at the diagram to offer the answer.
The turbine rotates the generator and the generator produces electricity.
Water sits in a lake behind a dam. Then the water rushes from the lake through the dam and down to a river. Inside the dam, the rushing water flows through a turbine. The energy from the falling water spins the turbine. The turbine then turns a generator and the generators produce electricity. The electricity flows through a power station and then onto high voltage power lines to another power station inside a city. From there, the electricity flows through more power lines and into houses.