Before moving to the older grades I was petrified of teaching electricity and circuits because I didn't know! Brushing up on the material is now one of my favorite things to teach with so many ways to showcase their knowledge. Incorporate some of these projects in your teaching - really - the kids love it!
We take about 3 weeks to complete our unit on Electricity! At the beginning of the unit we talk about Circuit Day and what options we have available to present. Students work in pairs to design something that will showcase a circuit and a full explanation script for people visiting their station! We invite other classes to come see our work and learn as well!
Below are some of the options we had. I'll link if you want to check them out. Many were purchased over the course of a the year (by myself to take to another school if I wanted) or donated by the company.
This is such a cool item! Here is the kit that we have but many parts can be replaced at a lower cost once you have the hang of it! We love incorporating them into other projects as you can see below!
The pair working on this literally taught themselves in no time and were so proud to build one on their own not out of the book (it has blank pages to do so) Definitely worth the investment! The stickers LEDs did come off relatively easy so we can reuse them at least a couple other times.
Makey makey is an awesome tool for the classroom. It comes with alligator clips and a controller like device that you can plug in the computer. You can choose their variety of games or control anything on the computer with ANYTHING that conducts electricity!
We had so much fun. We made water guitars, banana pianos, played a jumping game by high-fiving but really the possibilities are endless. Their sites has a great link up of ideas if you need a springing off point!
This has got to be a favorite just because of the sheer amount of effort involved. This could literally be applied to any content! Just using aluminum tape, regular tape, LED, alligator clips and watch battery you have your own light up matching game, or operation, or whatever!!
Here is the list of detailed instructions! My kids were able to make another on their own pretty easily as well. I have my 5th graders make review games for 4th grade! Such a great way to tie content together!
This puzzle lights up when a complete circuit is made. It comes with templates that are labeled with levels so it can work for a variety to ages or as a game. This was definitely a fun option! Here is the link to something extremely similar.
Squishy Circuits are very cool and easy to work! We can apply many concepts such as series and parallel circuits to this and be able to see very easily the results! You could use your own playdough, LEDs, batteries but the kit is inexpensive for the amount of light and other items like a buzzer that come with it. These lights work better than the smaller LEDS that I get from Radioshack if I end up buying anyway.
you can build so many things with this and such an easy illustration!
instructions here. Just using battery, paper clips, and lights/buzzer you can make your own circuit with an on/off switch. These are pretty cool to display and show others using creativity!
Static Electricity Stations and explaining what the changes were.
Snap Circuits were such a hit in my classroom! We truly love how many options and pieces it has to build so many cool projects! I had so many kids requesting to come in at recess to build!
The projects progressively get harder but I had some students that would build on their own since they later knew how the parts worked.
Here is a link to their awesome products. I plan to purchase some more for next school year just because of how durable and popular these kits are!
Here is the invitation we placed around school and used in our video. This was our culmination to our chapter on Electricity!
We are a rural school and we love our country music. They love this song so I rewrote it to fit the needs of our class. We filmed it to help promote our circuit where we invited other classes in school to see what we worked on.
You can listen to audio of the song - here.