Currently viewing the category: "Non-LEGO"


Name of Activity Snap Circuits and Conductivity
Author STOMP
Keywords conductivity, snap circuits, electricity
Subject Non-LEGO
Grade Level 4, 5, 6
Time 1 Hour Total
Brief Description Using snap circuits and the idea of conductive and insulating materials, the students will design a circuit to test whether various household items are insulators or conductors.
Lesson Objectives: The goal of this lesson is to introduce/review conductivity. Students will also practice designing experiments and practice building circuits.
Materials Needed: Each group (2-3 students) should have:
9V battery
snap circuits kit with wires, battery holder, resistor, LED light and/or lightbulb
household items (straws, wood, rubber bands, pennies, paperclips, paper, play-doh, plastic… etc)
a piece of paper to collect data
Preparation and Set Up: Make sure all snap circuit kits have the materials needed for the class. Make sure they don’t have the motors that have the detachable red fans as those are super distracting!!
Necessary Background Teachers should be familiar with conductivity and can also help students design their experiments to test the materials.
  • While one person introduces the class, the other can distribute materials.
  • Before they start working, you should review what makes a good or bad conductor and why.
  • You can pretend that they are scientists trying to discover new materials for conducting electricity, or something similar – this is to get them to take down data and think about why certain materials conduct electricity.
  • Once the lesson is introduced, give them a couple minutes to discuss how they will test the conductivity of the different materials.
  • Let them see if they can think of a way, but if they seem really stuck, you can steer them towards building a circuit with a light build and replacing wire with the material they are testing, making sure the circuit is still closed.
  • Depending on whether the light bulb is in series or in parallel with the battery, the light bulb will either turn on or turn off when a good conductor is placed in the circuit.
Extensions: If students are done early, they can test other materials around the classroom. Another etension is to see if they can think of a way to rank the materials in order of conductivity.
Modifications: This activity can also be done with snap circuits.
Umbrella Unit/Curriculum (if applicable) Intro to Electricity and Circuits





Name of Activity Materials Testing
Author Alana Lustenberger
Keywords materials, properties, building, sturdy, 4th grade, columbus, dipersio
Subject Non-LEGO
Grade Level 4, 5, 6
Time 1 Hour Total
Brief Description This activity involves having students explore the properties of different materials so that they are familiar with them when they choose their materials for a future project.
Lesson Objectives: This activity can be used to prime the class for a long design project where the students will be responsible for selecting the materials they would like to use. It teaches them about the different properties of materials and helps them to understand that different materials are wanted/needed for different applications
Materials Needed: The materials we used were foam, paperclips, cotton balls, rubber bands, straws, and a worksheet.
Preparation and Set Up: You can distribute the materials beforehand into separate bags, or just gather them from the center. Also make copies of the worksheet.
Procedure 1. Explain that all materials have different properties and that in this activity, the students will be exploring these. Make sure to mention that they will have to use what they learn today to pick the materials they will be using for future activities. 2. Pass out worksheets (or show it on the projector). Explain how each test is done and also talk about the ranking system. We did if the material stretches the most, give it a 6. If it stretches the least, give it a 1, and then order the rest corresponding to how stretchy they are within the 1 through 6 range. 3. Put the students in groups and pass out the materials. Make sure you stress teamwork and that both partners should be writing and doing the tests. 4. Bring the class together at the end and have students tell which materials were the stretchiest, heaviest, ect.
Reference 1
Umbrella Unit/Curriculum (if applicable) This was used for the service learning curriculum

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