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Below are links to Science Learning Hub resources for primary teachers related to heat in the Physical World strand of the New Zealand Curriculum.

Primary teachers often consider heat for a topic or concept when teaching science from the Physical World strand. Here are some resources that may help you teach this interesting phenomenon.

Heat basics: temperature

Temperature is a measure of the average energy of the particles that make up a substance. It relates to the idea of hotness and coldness. If an object feels hotter, generally it has the higher temperature.

Temperature –the highs and lows – Article

Heat and latent heat – Video

Investigating temperature – Activity

Water temperature – Activity

Heat basics: energy

Every time something gets warm, cools down, moves, grows, makes a sound or changes in any way, it uses energy.

What is energy? – Article

Heat energy – Article

Using heat energy – Activity

Topic: Fire

Combustion is when fuel reacts with oxygen to release heat energy. Fire is the visible effect of combustion. 

Unit plan: Fire

Fire behaviour – Article

Drama in the microworld – Activity

Light a candle – Activity

Putting out the fire – Activity

The flying tea bag – Activity

The great candle experiment – Activity

Alternative conceptions about fire – Article

Conduction – Image

Convection – Image

How things ignite – Image

Radiation – Image

Flashover and backdraught – Video

Topic: Renewable energy

Renewable energy is fuel that comes from a source that can be replenished in a short amount of time. This includes solar, wind, water, geothermal power and bioenergy. 

Renewable energy sources – Article

Geothermal power – Article

New Zealand’s biomass resources – Article

Solar power – Article

Greenhouse simulation – Activity

Energy sources through time – Timeline

Fuels and greenhouse gases – Video

Woody residue uses – Video

Topic: staying warm with insulation

Keeping warm involves stopping the transfer of heat from one object to another. This can be done by insulating the object. Trapping air in layers is a very effective way of insulating an object.

Greenhouse effect – Article

Greenhouse gases – Video

Insulation – Article

Kelvin – The ThermoKennel – Article

Nigel Latta Blows Stuff Up Episode 3: Weather – Article

Wool fibre properties – Article

Getting dressed for the Antarctic – Video

Staying warm in Antarctica – Video

We will continue to use the Hub as it is teacher friendly and easy to navigate. The topics are relevant and the work has been done for us. The students find the site interesting and easy to use too.

Dian Edmondson - teacher

Topic: solar energy

Scientists have learned to harness the Sun, transforming its energy to meet our energy needs.

Unit plan: Harnessing the Sun

Harnessing the Sun - an introductory article with links to media, articles and student activities

Solar energy – Article

Using solar energy – Article

Making a solar oven – Activity

Alternative conceptions about energy – Article

The performance helped me remember the whole meaning of solar cooking


Topic: Water (using heat to change states)

Changes of state involve the addition or removal of heat energy.

Unit plan: Observing Water

Melting and freezing – Article

Water molecules in drama – Activity

Classroom examples

Find out how teachers around New Zealand have used heat-related resources in their classrooms.

Cross-curricular use of Fire context – Article

Adapting learning outcomes and activities for young students – Article

Making and using an artefact – Article

Performing science – Article

Students reflect on learning science – Article

Making predictions – video

Revisiting predictions – video 

    Published 8 July 2015 Referencing Hub articles