This intro circuit activity will allow your students to explore how to complete a circuit on their own and with the help of their classmates. This is an activity with little prep and huge success!
K-2-ETS1-2. Develop a simple sketch, drawing, or physical model to illustrate how the shape of an object helps it function as needed to solve a given problem.
Electricity: is all about electrons moving. When electrons move something happens. This is because electrons carry energy places.
Current electricity is what happens when electrons move along a path like a wire versus building up on something like in static electricity. Electrons’ flowing through a wire is a basic example of a circuit. Circuit looks like the word circle, this is important to remember because electrons need a complete path in order to flow; if the path is broken nothing happens. Electrons flow from a power source (our battery), to a component (our light) and back to the power source. When the electrons get to the light it comes on!
1. Student will learn how to complete a simple circuit
2. Basic understanding of what current electricity is
3. Basic understanding what a complete circuit is
5. Practicing Patience
1. Pre-cut 2 squares of foil (about 6”x6”) per student
1. Introduce the activity to your students without any type of content review
2. Give every student 2 squares of foil, 1 LED and 1 coincell battery still in the packaging
3. Have them fold up the foil squares so the look like think lines, like this: ______
4. Now have each student take one piece of foil and wrap it around 1 leg of the LED
5. Repeat this with other piece of foil and other leg
6. At this point give them 5 minutes to try and light up the light themselves
7. After those 5 minutes, if any students have figured it out, have them show the rest of their classmates
8. Let the students try and explain why it works one way and not the others
9. Now review the content with your students by referencing the electricity content at the top of the page
1. Have them talk about how they figured it out
2. Why do they think it works one way and not others
3. What do they think is happening
Time Estimate: 30-45 minutes
What worked well..
This project is straightforward and kids get very excited when their lights come on and it also gives them time to explore and try to figure it out on their own.
What we would change..
Give them more time to experiment and help their friends get their light to work. Try and encourage students to use the new words they learned to explain how they figured it out.