Class time: 60 to 120 minutes

Purpose: Different student groups find and report information about different battery types

Notes to the teacher: You can adapt this activity to your preferences by including more or fewer battery types, setting the number of students per battery type, providing specific references for the students or encouraging them to do more independent research, choosing how extensive the students’ research and reporting should be, and selecting how the students report their findings (public service announcement, written paper, graphical poster, oral presentation in class, computer slide presentation, etc.).   

Use the table below and the Battery Types activity guide to lead your students through the battery research and summary.


  • List of battery types to research
  • Books or websites for students to research battery types
  • Materials for students to create posters, papers or presentations


1. Assign different battery types to different students or groups of students. Battery types could include:

  • Carbon-zinc batteries (older non-rechargeable batteries)
  • Alkaline batteries (newer non-rechargeable batteries)
  • Lead-acid batteries
  • Nickel-cadmium batteries
  • Lithium-ion batteries
  • Lithium-sulfur batteries
  • Magnesium-ion batteries
  • Flow batteries
  • Lithium-air batteries
  • Sodium-sulfur batteries
  • Hydrogen-oxygen fuel cells (similar to batteries)

2. Give students the battery type table, which lists the information they should find for their battery types.

3. Direct students to specific references for battery information, or let them do more open-ended self-directed research in the library or online. References include:

  • Online sources: Battery University and JCESR.
  • Carl H. Snyder, The Extraordinary Chemistry of Ordinary Things. 4th ed. New York: Wiley. 2002. Chapter 11.
  • Theodore E. Brown et al., Chemistry: The Central Science. 14th ed. New York: Pearson. 2017. Chapter 20.
  • Encyclopedia Britannica
  • Wikipedia articles on specific battery types might provide a starting point to look for links to more reputable source material.

4. Let the students report their findings in the format(s) of your/their choice.