Checking an initial understanding(Activity)

Diagnostic questions on voltage

What the activity is for

The diagnostic questions can be used to check the pupils' understanding of key ideas introduced in this episode.

What the activity is for

  • printed copies of these three questions

  • Support sheet

    What happens during this activity

    The questions might be used for homework or as the basis for discussion in class.

    Four batteries: designed to probe pupils' understanding of battery voltage.


  • Battery d
  • It has the largest voltage, so it pushes the biggest current round.
  • EndList

    Battery voltage: probes understanding of the relationship between the battery voltage and the voltage across the external circuit.


  • V1 is 3 volt
  • This must be the reading on the voltmeter because the voltage across the battery equals the voltage across the single resistor. The energy per coulomb supplied to the circuit at the battery equals the energy per coulomb shifted to the surroundings at the resistor.
  • EndList

    Batteries: probes pupils' understanding of current and voltage.


  • You cannot buy a 1.5 ampere battery because batteries are specified in terms of voltage. The current in a circuit depends on both the battery voltage and the circuit resistance. It does not make sense to talk of a 1.5 ampere battery. The battery can supply a full range of currents.
  • EndList

    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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