Planning Index: Heat & Temperature | Print |

Grade 7 Science Unit Plan
Unit C - Heat and Temperature
(emphasis on Social and Environmental context)

Grade 7 Unit Overview (Alberta)
The production, transfer and transformation of heat energy plays an important role in meeting human needs. In learning about heat, students investigate sources and uses of heat energy and consider the impact of their use on our long-term ability to meet energy needs. In focusing their studies, students explore different applications, investigate the scientific principles involved, and consider questions about the nature of heat. The particle model of matter is introduced to help students explain their observations and understand relationships between heat (Thermal energy) and temperature.

Concepts Covered and Developed through Instruction

Note: The terms heat energy and thermal energy may both be used in this unit. Heat energy is the more familiar term for younger students and is useful in introducing the topic. The term thermal energy is the preferred scientific term, and should be introduced during the unit to help prepare students for later grades. 

What do the students already know?

Can the students describe the difference between heat and temperature?

What must they Learn?

 What heat-related technologies are used in a sustainable way


Specific Learner Outcomes

Instructional Focus

Focus 1

Using Thermal Energy

Illustrate and explain how human needs have led to technologies for obtaining and controlling thermal energy, and to increased use of energy resources


- History of Heat
- History of Thermology
- technological devices
- personal and societal choices
- sustainable choices

Timeline / Inspiration
Timeline / Inspiration
Lab activities
Research and Scientific Reports / Case Study

Research and Scientific Reports

Focus 2

Nature of Thermal Energy

Describe the nature of thermal energy and its effects on different forms of matter using informal observations, experimental evidence and models


- heat transmission in different materials
- heat transmission
( conduction, convection and radiation )
- Particle Theory
- heat and temperature
- thermal expansion

Lab Activities

Scientific Illustrations

Particle Model of Matter
Comparative Analysis
Lab Activities

Focus 3

Heat and Temperature

Apply an understanding of heat and temperature in interpreting natural phenomena and technological devices


- natural production of thermal energy
- passive and active solar heating
- evaluate materials
- technological devices and systems
- household devices
- heat losses

Lab Activities

Science Olympic Activities

Problem Solving Activities
Building Models

Lab Activities
Lab Activities

Focus 4

Thermal Energy Issues

Analyze issues related to the selection and use of thermal technologies, and explain decisions in terms of advantages and disadvantages for sustainability


- sources of heat
- energy consumption
- consequences of energy use

Research / Internet Resources
Case Study / End of Unit Project