○ Which produced the greater amount of static charge?
○ What objects will your balloon attract?
○ How is your balloon like a magnet?
○ Did your balloon attract objects more easily at some times than others?
6. Ask the student how these experiences could be called electricity. Help the student to determine ways the electricity with
the balloons is the same and different from electricity in other situations.
7. Direct the student in listing examples of electricity under two headings:
○ Electricity that moves along a pathway to light a light, moves a motor, etc. (current electricity)
○ Electricity that acts like a magnet, attracting and repelling objects (static electricity)
8. Guide the student in defining the two kinds of electricity. Use working definitions, definitions created by the student. These
definitions may not be exactly correct but can be changed through additional experiences with electricity.
9. List several occurrences of static electricity that happen in everyday life.
1. Blow up 2 balloons and tie each one closed so that the balloons stay inflated.
2. Tie a long thread or string onto the end of each balloon.
3. Give each balloon a static charge by rubbing it with fur, wool, or your hair.
4. Hold each balloon by the end of the thread and try to bring the balloons close to each other. Observe what happens.
5. What conclusions can you make about the activity? Again, think about what is happening to the atoms in the balloons.
When we rub the balloons with the wool, each of the balloons acquires a negative charge. Negatively charged particles called
electrons are transferred from the wool to the balloons, giving the balloons an overall negative charge. Because the two balloons
have the same kind of charge, they repel each other.