Electrical Circuit
Electricity and Magnetism

Adding batteries to the circuit - a practical activity

Classroom Activity for 11-14 Supporting Physics Teaching

What the Activity is for

What happens on adding a battery?

Throughout this practical activity, the pupils will establish that when an extra battery is added to a simple electric circuit, the current around the circuit increases in value and the bulb gets brighter; or the buzzer/bell sounds louder; or the motor turns more quickly.

What to Prepare

  • batteries
  • bulbs
  • buzzers/bells/motors
  • ammeters
  • connecting leads
  • support sheet: Adding batteries to the circuit (see below)

What Happens During this Activity

The pupils work in pairs to measure the current in the bulb circuit and buzzer/bell/motor circuit with one, two and possibly three batteries and observe what happens.

Part 2: how to explain what happens

What the activity is for

The pupils are encouraged to talk and think about the electric circuit model and a teaching model to account for what they have found with the various electric circuits.

What happens during this activity

The pupils work in pairs to talk through their ideas to explain why the bulb is brighter (the buzzer/bell louder) and the current is bigger when a second cell is added. Pairs then report back during class discussion.


Download the support sheet / student worksheet for this activity.

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