Three weeks, 9 Lessons ( 40 minute each lesson ) on Transferring Energy by Heating


The Class

Students: 56 (Grade 9)

Level: IGCSE Coordinated Science Double Award Physics


Teaching Aids & Outline



Introduction and

gaining attention


Styrofoam cups, 10 thermometers (mercury and alcohol),

digital thermometers, kettle, ice cubes, three beakers

(containing hot, warm and cold water),  sheet;


Guidance and



Multimedia lab with Internet facility for all the students,

and the teacher,

Video for 20² to show real-time studies, ‘Keeping warm’

and ‘Keeping cool’;


Main Experiment &

Presenting stimulus


Metal sample, thread, Retort stand with 2 clamps, 

styrofoam cup, thermometer, cloth, tissue paper, measuring

cylinder (250 ml), beaker, stirrer, balance, Bunsen burner

with tripod, gauze and heat mat, lighter, water;


Heat Transfer and

Stimulate recall


Circus of 15 demo-experiments (5 for conduction, 5 for

convection and 5 for radiation; (some ideas from Grade 7)



Guiding learning &

Eliciting performance


Simple numerical and application of these principles


Enhancing retention


OHP to summarize key ideas in this topic, and

Test (30²)


Providing feedback

Promoting transfer


Return tests, further study and presentation by students


Aims and objectives






A simple account of the equation Q = m.c.Δθ


Where Q = heat energy in J, m = mass in kg, c = specific heat capacity in J/(kg0C), and

Δθ = change in temperature in 0C


Personal aim



Anticipated problems


  1. The concept that heat energy calculations require the CHANGE in temperature and NOT the final temperature,
  2. The initial temperature of the metal cube is the temperature of boiling water, and final temperature of the cube is the same as the water after the solid has been added,
  3. Algebra in making one of the four quantities the subject of the equation,

Q = m.c.Δθ.


Suggested procedural details

Introduction & gaining attention


  1. Introduce the students to keywords to inform them of aims and objectives in studying this unit.




  1. Carry out a simple experiment to see how our senses cannot be relied on to measure temperature.
  2. While one hand says it is hot, the other hand says it is cold.
  3. Thermometers are more reliable but even they cannot be depended on totally, because 5 thermometers in melting ice show different readings between themselves, similar to 5 thermometers in hot water.
  4. Use this to speak about the need to calibrate a thermometer.
  5. Prepare them for the following lesson in the multimedia lab.




Guidance and Motivation


  1. Access the URL: and then go to the physics link.
  2. Reinforce the need to use advance organizers, and show them where they can find the link for the relevant page numbers in their textbook, impending tests, and examination in May.
  3. Show them the link, and guide them to the thumbnail links online related to the experiment that they are going to carry out in the following lesson,
  4. Actually go over the results by looking at the readings enlarged on the screen using the projector connected to the PC.
  5. Discuss the impending experiment for the following lesson.
  6. Show them the link, and access the 7th link to the Scientific American for the question what is the current scientific thinking on cold fusion?
  7. Require the students to print out at home the review for the following lesson and come with tentative answers.





  1. Relevance of theories of heat and introduction to the notion of ‘cold fusion’ 

              developed by chemists Pons and Fleishmann in 1989.


NB:  ‘Cold fusion’ is still in the news. E-mail the article “A Practical Way to Make Power From Wasted Heat” in the New York Times of Tuesday November 27, 2001. (Brief summary: Scientists at M.I.T. and a small company in Salt Lake City will announce that they have developed technology that can efficiently and inexpensively transform heat pollution into electricity. )


  1. VIDEO on ‘Keeping warm’




Main Experiment and Present Stimulus


  1. Introduction of specific heat capacity – comparison with inertial of motion and therefore referring to it as ‘heat inertia’.
  2. Just as it is difficult to move a heavy object, it is difficult to change the TEMPERATURE of an object with a high specific heat capacity.
  3. Give values for this value of specific heat capacity for water and compare it with other substances.
  4. Check if they know what other constants for water are such as density, and so on.
  5. Summarize and prepare them for the next lesson on the experiment to carry out the specific heat capacity of a metal sample.
  6. Write down the principle of the method of mixtures for the experiment on determination of the specific heat capacity.




  1. Carry out the EXPERIMENT to determine the specific heat capacity (as

outlined in the sheet attached)




Guiding learning and Eliciting Performance


  1. Work out simple numerical and allow time to CHECK UNDERSTANDING of the students about specific heat capacity and its applications.




Heat Transfer and Stimulate Recall


  1. Circus of 15 experiments ( 5 each for convection, conduction and radiation)
  2. Brief write-ups




Enhancing retention


  1. OHP to summarize key ideas in this topic for further REINFORCEMENT, with sentence completion and questions from text, and review key ideas for test.
  2. Test (30²)




Providing feedback and promoting transfer



  1. Discuss test paper after answer scripts have been returned.
  2. Suggest ideas for further study.
  3. Promote transfer by initiating the idea of student presentation henceforth.



TOTAL 360 minutes


Enclose             Sheets for background reading and experiment

                        Results on the sentence completion of the students.

                        Results on their test for Unit P6 ‘Transferring energy by heating’.


Analyze results of the test and evaluate the learning.


To summarize, the lesson plans outlined above have used the nine events for Instruction developed by Gagne has been a background for the development of the lessons. The nine events are


1.                  Gaining attention

2.                  Informing learner of aims and objectives

3.                  Stimulating recall

4.                  Presenting stimulus

5.                  Guiding learning

6.                  Eliciting performance

7.                  Providing feedback

8.                  Enhancing retention, and finally

9.                  Promoting transfer.


The students by being given not only specific tasks to complete have been tested and provided with some feedback. By leaving it open-ended, and asking them to be able to teach and present something to the rest of their class promotes significant transfer. This is very useful because students must be given an opportunity to continue exploring the resources available in books, online such as those illustrated in the Physics links and experience the connection of physics with their daily life.