Last Updated: Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Types of energy – first level

What is this?

This activity aims to support children to learn about how food and drink provide the energy our bodies need to move, think and grow.

This learning activity is intended to support teachers and practitioners to plan learning experiences for children in their usual setting or while they are learning at home. As well as taking account of national and local guidance relating to Covid-19, the activity should be used or adapted accordingly to consider the range of learners and their prior knowledge and individual circumstances in relation to this learning experience.

Curriculum for Excellence (CfE) experiences and outcomes: First level

I understand that my body needs energy to function and that this comes from the food I eat. I am exploring how physical activity contributes to my health and wellbeing. HWB 1-28a

Purpose of the activity

At early level, children should have explored changes to their bodies during and after physical activity and play. This activity builds on this to learn about how food and drink provide the energy our bodies need to move, think and grow.

Learning activity

  • Introduce the activity by asking children to think about their previous learning. Remind them that our bodies need fuel or energy to move, think and grow.
  • Next, explain to children they are going to learn about different types of energy. Show children a selection of foods, for example, porridge, an apple, a chocolate bar, bread. Ask them to think about which foods would give us energy. Do they think some foods would give us more energy than others?
  • Now explain to children all of these foods give us energy. Some give us a quick burst of energy and some give us longer lasting energy. Tell them we call this ‘fast releasing energy’ and ‘slow releasing energy’. Ask children to sort the foods into these two groups. Can they add other foods to these groups? You might want to use this Bitesize resource to support this activity.
  • Finally, explain we need ‘fast releasing energy foods’ and ‘slow releasing energy foods’ at different times. Ask them to think of three examples of times we would need ‘fast releasing energy’ and three examples of times we would need ‘slow releasing energy’ foods.

Extension activity

Some children might be able to create a personal food diary and indicate the fast and slow release energy foods they eat. You could provide examples of fast release energy foods and ask children to think of slow release alternatives.

National benchmarks

Explains that food is the fuel that gives the body energy.

Possible approach to assessing learning

Alongside the approaches your school uses to communicate with children, in order to support you to assess and celebrate their progress:

  • Children may upload photos or a record of their work to their online learning journal or online learning space on Google classroom or Microsoft Teams. This will give you the opportunity to provide feedback and next steps.
  • Depending on your platform for home learning, there may be opportunities for children to discuss and collaborate on this task.

You may want to use questions like the ones below:

  • Give examples of slow release energy foods
  • Why do we need fast and slow releasing energy foods?

When planning your approach to assessing learning, please take account of the latest guidance on assessment approaches.

Resource subject Health and wellbeing
Resource type Learning activity
Resource format Webpage