AskERIC Lesson Plans
Lesson Plan #:AELP-PHY0002

Attracting Balloons

An AskERIC Lesson Plan

Submitted by: Dawn Grosklags

Endorsed by: Dr. Don E.Descy, Mankato State University

Grade Level: Grades 4-6

DESCRIPTION: Static electricity can be a difficult concept for elementary students to understand and relate to. Allowing students to learn about static electricity through a hands on lesson will create an exciting learning environment. While theyUre learning about the new concept of static electricity.


The students will learn about static electricity.

The students will understand that everything has an electric charge.

The students will be able to demonstrate static electricity using balloons.

The students will be able to identify static electricity that occurs in their daily lives.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION: This lesson can be used with students who have little or no understanding of static electricity. The lesson is a basic activity that elementary students will be able to perform and enjoy.


The students will be able to identify that protons have a positive charge and electrons have a negative charge.

The students will be able to identify that protons and electrons attract causing static electricity.

  1. Give each student a balloon or put students into small groups and have them share the balloons. Whatever method fits your class better.
  2. Have the students blow up the balloon and tie the end together.
  3. Tell the students to rub the balloon on their hair.
  4. Explain to the students that some of the electrons from their hair move to the atoms on the balloon. The balloon now has more electrons. This is causing it to have a negative charge. Their hair has more protons than electrons. This is giving their hair a positive charge. When the protons and electrons are unequal, static electricity is produced. Static electricity is the charge on an object that has an unequal number of protons and electrons. Static electricity is causing their hair to stick up.
  5. Allow the students a chance to experiment with balloon. Have them try to stick the balloon to their clothes or the wall.
  1. Have the students write down to examples of static electricity.
  2. Ask the students to explain why their hair was sticking to the balloon.

This activity has been copied, with permission, from the Educational Resources Information Center (ERIC) server to ours, to allow faster access from our website. We encourage you to explore the original site.

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