Act Out Electricity!





Name of Activity Act Out Electricity!
Author Emily Taintor
Keywords electricity, interactive, act out, non-lego, 4-6, introduction to electricity, resistor, lamp, bulb, wire, battery, switch, 1 Hour Total
Subject Non-LEGO
Grade Level 4, 5, 6
Time 1 Hour Total
Brief Description Students are assigned to be a circuit element and act it out in a complete circuit.
Lesson Objectives: - Solidify the students’ understanding of electricity.
- Give the students a physical understanding of what different circuit elements do.
Materials Needed: - Attached materials.
Preparation and Set Up: - Split the students into small groups.
- Give each group a set of materials.
- Give each group a goal for their circuit so that they can set it up and act it out to show the rest of the class.
Necessary Background - Electricity terms:
– Resistor
– Battery
– Switch
– Lamp (Light Bulb)
– Motor
  1. Split the students up into groups.
  2. Assign each group a specific goal for a circuit.
  3. Let the students take time to plan out how they will act it out with the given resources.
  4. Have the students act out their circuit for the rest of the class.
Extensions: Add in more complex circuit elements, programming, or use of breadboards.
Reference 1
Umbrella Unit/Curriculum (if applicable) Introduction to Electricity

2 Responses to “Act Out Electricity!”

  1. We did this activity in our two fifth-grade classes yesterday, Tues Nov 5, at the Winship School in Brighton. The activity went fairly well, but was sort of organized chaos. Before we began we reviewed all the electricity terms we mentioned the week before. We split the class into groups of approx 9 students (two groups in one class, three in the other) and gave each group one of the packets. We had each student take one of the circuit elements from the packet, decorate their page however they wanted to, and label it with the name of the element and their name. Then we had the students stand in a circle and try to organize different types of circuits using the circuit elements that they were and act out one feature of their element (for example, the motor made a motor noise, the light bulb held their hands up around their head as though they were a big light bulb). Students enjoyed the activity but were eager to build real circuits, they understood the concepts very well. One challenge was getting the students to act out being an electron and going through the circuit or animatedly act as their circuit element, maybe this would be better in a smaller class or with younger kids.

  2. We did this activity in our 5th grade classroom at JQS. The activity went well and really helped solidify the information about what switches, batteries, lightbulbs, resistors, and wires did. This activity does not take one hour. It took our students about 15 minutes to plan and act out their little skits. I think this activity is a good intro for another electrical engineering activity but should not be a complete class period. After we did this activity, we had students build circuits with snap circuits. I think that acting out the circuit before building it helped them better understand how it worked.

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