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Primary 4 Science for October - Heat Energy

Here's what students can expect for Primary 4 Science for the month of October.

For this month, the school should be completing the topic on Heat Energy.

Students are required to learn quite a handful of concepts for this topic, I will address 7 of the major concepts here. Number 1, learn how to identify sources of heat, like fire and sun Number 2, differentiate between heat and temperature. Heat is a form of energy while temperature is a measurement of degree of hotness of an object.

Number 3, heat flows from hotter to colder region until both object/region reaches the same temperature. As such, colder objects will hence gain heat whereas hotter objects will lose heat. Number 4, the relationship between heat gain/loss and temperature increase/decrease. When an object gain heat, its temperature will increase. When it loses heat, its temperature will decrease.

Number 5, heat gain/loss will also cause matter to change its state, as shown in the diagram below.

Number 6, heat gain/loss relationship with expansion and contraction. When an object gains heat, it will expand and occupy more space. When an object loses heat, it will contract and occupy less space.

Finally, heat conductivity is a concept that is heavily tested through experiment questions. Good heat conductors gain/lose heat very quickly, such as metals. On the other hand, poor heat conductors gain/lose heat very slowly, such as plastic or wood.

Lastly, students have to identify good and poor conductors of heat. Whereby good conductors are metals while poor conductors are wood, plastics, air

Common question type of such topics requires knowledge recall for explanation questions in experiments.

Lets look at this commonly tested question

The question states that there are four cups of tea at the same temperature 90dg, and each cup is made of a different material. At the end of the experiment, we noticed that the temperature of the tea decreased for all, but to different extent.

When you see a change in temperature (heat gain/heat loss) and the changed variable is the type of materials, we can deduce that they are testing heat conductivity of the materials.

For (a), before students state their answer in a rush, stop and think – iced water is something cold, it will most likely gain heat and become hotter overtime. So, to keep it cold for the longest possible time, we need it to gain heat SLOWLY. Concept recall – a poor conductor of heat gains or loses heat slowly. In this case, we will need the POOREST conductor of heat, which is Cup L.

To explain in part (b), we will need to employ the 3-steps answering technique Describe results, Analyse results, Link back to Question (DAL).

Describe results: Temperature of tea in Cup L was the highest, Analyse results (property/science concept): showing that it is the POOREST conductor of heat Link back to question (function): Hence, it will conduct heat from the surrounding air to the iced water the slowest, keeping it cold for the longest time. Do note that superlative or comparative terms like ‘est’ or ‘er’ must be used in explaining such questions, to show the marker that you have valid reason to choose this material over the others. Tip is to not rush into answering the question, ask yourself whether the objective is for the object to lose/gain heat faster/slower, before deciding on whether you need a good or poor conductor of heat.


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