Lesson Plan: Specific Heat Capacity Physics

This lesson plan includes the objectives, prerequisites, and exclusions of the lesson teaching students how to use the formula 𝐸 = 𝑀𝑐𝚫θ to calculate the amount of energy needed to increase the temperature of a material or an object by a given amount.


Students will be able to

  • use the formula Δ𝐸=𝑚𝑐Δ𝜃 in all permutations,
  • understand that as an object is heated, the increase in its internal energy is directly proportional to the increase in its temperature (as long as it is not undergoing a phase change),
  • understand that for materials, we can define their specific heat capacity, which is their heat capacity per kilogram of the materials.


Students should already be familiar with

  • what temperature and energy are,
  • the Kelvin temperature scale,
  • converting between the Kelvin, Celsius, and Fahrenheit temperature scales,
  • the three most common states of matter on Earth: solid, liquid, and gas,
  • the terms for phase changes between solids, liquids, and gases.


Students will not cover

  • phase changes,
  • the energy required for a material to undergo a change of phase,
  • latent heat.

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