Lesson Plan: The Electric Potential Difference Provided by Cells Science

This lesson plan includes the objectives, prerequisites, and exclusions of the lesson teaching students how to calculate the potential difference provided by a cell based on the amount of work it does to separate charge.


Students will be able to

  • recognize that a potential difference is created by a separation of positive and negative charges,
  • recognize that by allowing charges to flow along conductors, a charge separation can be reduced to zero,
  • recall that the potential difference provided by a battery to a circuit is called its electromotive force,
  • use the formula 𝑉=𝑊/𝑄.


Students should already be familiar with

  • the idea that there are positive and negative charges,
  • the idea that like electric charges repel each other and opposite electric charges attract each other,
  • the idea that objects and materials are made of atoms,
  • the idea that atoms consist of positively charged nuclei and negatively charged electrons,
  • the circuit symbols for a cell and a bulb,
  • the idea that an electric current is a flow of electrons.


Students will not cover

  • the chemistry of electrochemical cells,
  • any other types of voltage sources,
  • capacitors,
  • resistance,
  • internal resistance of cells,
  • resistors,
  • dielectrics.

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