Lesson 4: Where is Heat Coming From and Where is it Going?


In this investigation, students expand their understanding of thermal energy transfers by focusing on the directionality of heat transfers. Students collect temperature data from two interacting containers of water and from their results infer that heat is transferred from warmer matter to cooler matter until both substances reach the same temperature.

Key Ideas

Lesson Goals

Students will:

Lesson Resources

Lesson PlanDownload Lesson Plan (13 pages, 852 KB)

Student Handout 4.1
Student Handout 4.1: Temperature Changes

(524 KB)

Energy Flow Interactive Diagrams from FOSS (Requires preregistration and password.)

Graphing Tutorial

Online Extensions

Examine mood rings, mood beads, and other interesting “toys” that change color due to heat transfers (color changing paper, putty, mugs/glasses, foam, T-shirts)

Research the relationship between heat, weather, and climate by visitng NASA's Extreme Weather (Lesson Plan: Hurricanes as Heat Engines)

Connection to Maine Agencies

A Maine Energy Education Program (MEEP) representative and will come to interested schools, free of charge, to guide and support the concepts in lesson.

For schools in Aroostook County, a Maine Public Service (MPS) representative will come to interested schools, free of charge, to guide and support concepts developed in this lesson. 


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