Name of Activity

Building a Flashlight




circuit, electricity, flashlight, build, switch



Grade Level



1 Hour Total

Brief Description

Students are asked to create a flashlight using previous knowledge about electricity and circuits.

Lesson Objectives:

-Introduce students to making circuits with real wires rather than Playdough, as in squishy circuits.

-Explain the importance of a switch (ie being able to open and close a circuit to turn a light or other object on or off)

Materials Needed:

-D or 9V batteries

-Electrical wire

-Electrical tape


-Toilet paper rolls or other objects that can be used as the flashlight body

-Other items to make the flashlight more user-friendly?

Preparation and Set Up:

-Collect materials

-Ensure each group will have two electrical wires, pre-cut and pre-stripped

Necessary Background

Students should have been exposed to electricity and circuits previously. They should have explored the importance of circuits and particularly switches in circuits.


  1. Divide students into pairs or groups of 3-4.
  2. Distribute materials.
  3. Allow students to try to make their circuit work with little guidance at first.
  4. Encourage students to incorporate a switch into their design and to “package” the circuit such that it can be used as a flashlight.

Umbrella Unit/Curriculum (if applicable)

Electricity & Magnetism

2 comments on this post.
  1. Shanice Kok:

    After the students had a couple weeks of snap circuits experience, we decided to incorporate real lightbulbs and wires with the snap circuit switch and wires. Gave the students a variety of materials (notecards, real wires, electrical tape, snap circuits) and asked them to construct a flashlight.

  2. Daniela Torres:

    We had a twist on this activity, and we used it as our final project to close our electricity unit. We had the students imagine that there was a power outage, and they had to build tools to help them continue to navigate through their daily lives in the dark. Essentially each of these tools had a built in flashlight the difference was the creative tools that they ended up coming up with. For example we started off this final project by introducing them our own tool. Since school must go on my partner and I build a small model of a white board with LED lights. Other projects (from the students) included lit up housing, lit up pencils, lit up helmets and hats, and lanterns.

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