You know that when charged particles build up in an
object it is called static electricity. Another kind of electricity
occurs when electrons flow in a current. A battery and wires can
make current flow.
Look at the simple electric circuit below. It
consists of four parts 1.) a battery, 2.) a switch, 3.) a light bulb, 4.)
The battery pushes electrons from the negative terminal
(where there are many electrons), through the switch, the light bulb, and
the wire into the positive terminal (where there are not many
electrons). As electrons pass through the wire and into the light
bulb, a special kind of wire inside the bulb, called a filament, lights
the bulb. Have you ever heard a light bulb pop when it burns
out? The filament has broken and the flow of electrons has been
What if you want to turn the light bulb off? You
need to stop the flow of electrons. Look at the simple
circuit. Notice the switch is off. The circuit has been
broken. The light bulb is not lit. The flow of electrons has
stopped because there is a gap in the circuit, and the electrons no longer
have a closed path. If you want to turn the light bulb back on, the
switch must be closed to complete the circuit.
The wire used in electric circuits is usually made of
copper. Copper and silver are good conductors. Conductors
carry electrons very easily.
Rubber, plastic, and glass are good insulators.
Insulators do not permit electrons to flow through them.
Insulators are poor conductors of electricity and are therefore used to
cover wires used in circuits.
Directions: Answer the questions about
electricity. Use the illustrations to help you.
The negative terminal of the battery has many
The battery pushes electrons from the negative
terminal through the switch, the light bulb, and the wire into the
terminal (where there are not many electrons).
A special kind of wire inside a light bulb is called a
electrons very easily.
Which of the following is a good conductor?
do not permit electrons to flow through them.
Which of the following is a good insulator?
Elementary & Middle School Lessons & Self-Correcting Tests for Children in all Subject Areas. If you have found an error or would like to make comments on this lesson,
please email us at:
Copyright 1999-2020 by Educational Designers, LLC. All rights reserved. Lessons & Tests in Math, Reading, Spelling, Science, Language, and Social Studies.
traffic. Your IP address and user-agent are shared with Google along with
performance and security metrics to ensure quality of service, generate
usage statistics, and to detect and address abuse."