About the Holiday
Today’s holiday commemorates the date in 1752 when Benjamin Franklin conducted his famous experiment in which he flew a kite outfitted with some wire, silk, and a key to prove that lightning was caused by a discharge of electricity. His successful experiment led to a better understanding of positive and negative charges as well as to the invention of the lightning rod. To read the whole story of Benjamin Franklin’s experiment visit Checkiday.com.
Written by Tyler Jordan | Illustrated by Elsa Martins
Little ones are fascinated by the magic – or what seems like magic – all around them. Flip a switch and the lights come on. Push a button and pictures appear on a screen. One box keeps food cold, another makes it hot. How do all of these things work? With the interactive Energy Animated, kids can learn the basics of where the energy comes from to create electricity.
Pull tabs, wheels, flaps, and toggles let kids see how different ways of collecting electricity makes everyday objects run. Little ones get to toggle an oil pump and see how oil is stored deep under the earth’s surface, past a bunny sleeping in its hole, worms aerating the soil, and ants building tunnels to where dinosaurs are buried. They learn about coal and uranium, which “can be used as fuel to heat water and created steam. The steam goes through a fan called a turbine to generate electricity.”
Readers may be familiar with solar panels from hearing parents and teachers talk about them or even from their own homes. Here, kids also learn how the sun is used to store energy from the sun with mirrors. As children turn the wheel, night turns to day, and they see how sunshine is absorbed by mirrors and solar panels to generate steam and electricity.
Turn the page and the same wheel turns the blades of a wind turbine. Next, they take a trip to the beach to learn that “when wind blows over the ocean, it makes waves. The waves move buoys up and down, and we can capture that energy too. Then readers can dive in and with the pull of a tab make the buoy move up and down. Surprise! A little fish is watching too! Finally, readers get to lift the gate on a dam and let the water rush through a turbine to create even more electricity.
Little ones follow up on all the electricity they’ve generated by flying a plane and steering a ship by way of sliders as they learn how electricity is collected at power stations and brought to their house through the long power lines they see above them.
Tyler Jordan’s informative text teaches young readers a wide range of vocabulary used when talking about energy, the environment, and the processes used to collect, generate, and use electricity. Her short, straightforward sentences make the science concepts digestible for children and promote discussion between them and adult readers.
Jordan’s text is paired with Elsa Martin’s bright illustrations that put the focus on the pumps, turbines, solar panels, mirrors, buoys, dam, as well as the vehicles and home appliances and electronics that use electricity and energy. Uncluttered by non-essential details, Martin’s pages make it easy for young readers to see where the materials we use to generate electricity come from and how they are used. The interactive elements will entice kids to learn more about each alternative energy source and make them more aware of the power lines, solar panels, and other energy producers in their area.
An entertaining and educational way to teach young readers about energy sources and how electricity is generated, Energy Animated is a terrific addition to home, school, and public library collections for science learning.
You’ll also want to check out Physics Animated, an interactive way for kids to learn about how things move. You can read my review of Physics Animated here.
Ages 4 – 6
Familius, 2021 | ISBN 978-1641702546
To learn more about Elsa Martins, her books, and her art on her website.
National Electricity Day Activities
Get Energized! Word Search Puzzle
Can you find the sixteen words about energy in this printable puzzle?
Have Fun with Static Electricity!
You and your kids can have lots of surprising and giggly fun with static electricity using blown-up balloons!
Babies and young children should be supervised by an adult while playing with balloons.
How does it work? Static electricity is generated when there is an excess of electrons on one object giving it an electric charge. These electrons are attracted to an object with fewer electrons and will jump to it when placed close by.
How do you produce static electricity? Just rub the blown-up balloon on your shirt, on your hair, on a blanket or other surface. Then try these experiments!
Generate static electricity on a blown-up balloon then hold it near your hair and watch it go a little crazy!
HANG A BALLOON
Generate static electricity on a blown-up balloon and gently place it on the wall and watch it hang all by itself.
This bit of balloon magic will amaze you! Generate static electricity on a blown-up balloon. Turn on a faucet to a thin stream of water. Hold the balloon near the stream of water and watch it bend toward the balloon.
You can find some awesome and easy experiments to do with static electricity and current electricity from Frugal Fun for Boys and Girls.
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