A topic map(Activity)

Making topic maps to reinforce and explore understanding

What the activity is for

The ideas in electric circuits are particularly densely connected. It is therefore a particularly rich area for topic mapping, where the quantity of (correct) interconnections is a guide to the student's understanding.

What the activity is for

  • a set of ideas to cut out and link

  • What happens during this activity

    Pencil and paper provide the most flexible medium for this activity, but having a number of ideas ready cut out facilitates rethinking arrangements, particularly if there are several students working on the same map. Once an arrangement has been agreed then it is worth copying the ideas to paper and drawing in the links. It's the discussion and resulting clarification that are important, rather than the finished artefact, although there is much value in producing a reasonable display copy so that the similarities and differences between the different maps can be appreciated–so leading to more discussion.

    It's a good idea to mix in one or two physical things, such as cells, lamps or resistors, with the physical quantities, such as potential difference and resistance. An alternative is to mix in some electrical units, such as ampere and ohm.

    Here are some suggested lists:

  • Power; energy; time; potential difference; lamp; current.
  • Resistance; series connections; parallel connections; current; potential difference; lamp; brightness.
  • Power; watt; current; ampere; potential difference; volt; energy; joule; time; second.
  • Cell; battery; lamp; current; potential difference; resistance.
  • You'll want to adapt these in the light of what best challenges your class.

    Prepare for teaching across the topic using these links

    topic kitset topic path core ideas (topic) decisions to make (topic) suggestions (for the topic) topic issues

    This is a nugget in the TA thread – connect all three threads from any link

    Physics Narrative (PN) Teaching & Learning Issues(TL) Teaching Approaches(TA)

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