Class Circuit Acting





Name of Activity Class Circuit Acting
Author STOMP
Keywords acting, circuit, electricity, resistors, current, switches, battery, electrons, protons, charge
Subject Non-LEGO
Grade Level 4
Time 1 Hour Total
Brief Description Students will work as a whole to play different parts in a circuit. There will be live presentations of electron flow, and the entire class will need to work together in a circle to make the circuit run.
Lesson Objectives: To teach the role of: wires, protons, electrons, batteries, resistors and switches.
Materials Needed: -Plastic balls (half labeled with a positive sign and the rest labeled with a negative sign)
-Two buckets: one will act as the proton side of the battery, and the other will act as the negative side of the battery.
-Signs that students can wear. Each will be assigned the symbol of either a resistor, switch (open switch on one one side of the sign and closed switch on the other), and a lamp. Students linking hands will serve to be wire.
Preparation and Set Up: Prepare all the proton and electron balls in their buckets. Have signs ready in order to assign roles to students. Before setting up the class in a circle to begin the activity, it is important to go over briefly the different parts of the circuit.
Necessary Background Understand the role of wires, resistors, open switches, and closed switches. Also understand the role of the battery and how electrons are the ones that flow throughout the circuit (use electron flow not conventional current).
  1. Introduce all materials: balls with plus signs are protons, balls with negative signs are electrons, one bucket represents the positive terminal of the battery, another bucket represents the negative terminal of the battery, signs will be assigned to different students one by one.
  2. Get students together in a circle with the buckets filled with their respective balls also in the circle.
  3. Explain that the bucket with the protons will not be touched since the electrons will be the ones that move (electron flow).
  4. Explain that the first student will grab a ball from the electron bucket and pass it on the the student next to them.  This first student can grab more balls from the bucket and continue passing as long as all students follow the rule that you can only pass the electron if the next student doesn’t already have one.
  5. That electron will be continued to be passed around the classroom until the last student drops it into the proton bucket.
  6. Explain that all electrons move (current formed) due to attraction to protons, and that is why all the electrons end up in the proton bucket at the end.
  7. Once all electrons are exhausted explain that each student in this circuit acted as wire (wire is a path for electrons to move through).  Also explain that a circuit with only a batter and wire is a short circuit.
  8. Explain why short circuits are dangerous, and therefore circuits need resistors.
  9. Bring all electrons back to the negative terminal bucket to restart the process, this time with a new part.
  10. Introduce the first sign and assign 1 or 2 or 3 students the role of a resistor.
  11. Any student who is the resistor must count 3-5 seconds when the electron reaches them before passing it on to the next student.  This will help illustrate that resistors slow down electrons.
  12.  Restart the circuit and introduce a new sign: the switch.
  13. The switch will have an open switch on one side and a closed switch on the other.  Assign this role to a student.
  14. Start off with the open switch and attempt the activity.  Keep resistor rolls in to keep practicing the role of a resistor.  Once the electron reaches the student acting as the open switch stop the class. Ask the students if the electrons will keep moving or not.  Discuss why.
  15. Restart the circuit again this time with a closed switch.  Ask why switches might be used in a circuit.
  16. Introduce the last sign: the lamp.  When the electrons reach the student acting as a lamp let them recreate what would happen (maybe jump up to show brightness or hold the electron above their head for a moment).
  17. Review the parts of a circuit in one last run through.
Extensions: This activity is a version of an already existing activity. This activity was created because it differed from the existing version. The other version can be found under online references.
Modifications: Bring in signs of different parts: diodes, motors, and fans.
Reference 1
Online Reference(s)
Previous Activity (if applicable)
Umbrella Unit/Curriculum (if applicable)

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

Introduction to Motors





Name of Activity Introduction to Motors
Author STOMP
Keywords motor, wire, batter, pulley, connection, electricity, axle, band, primary colors
Subject Simple Machines
Grade Level K, 1, 2, 3
Time 1 Hour Total
Lesson Objectives: - To familiarize students with the LEGO motor, wire, and battery pack and how they function
Brief Description In this activity, students will learn to connect the LEGO motor, wire, and battery. Students will use the spinning motor to make a piece of art work that they created. If students have made pulley walls, they will attach their motors to the pulley wall as well.
Materials Needed: - LEGO Simple Machine Kits.
- ‘Color Circles’ Worksheet.
- Extra batteries or battery packs.
- Scissors.
- Tape.
- Markers, crayons, or colored pencils in primary colors.
- Color wheel to explain mixing of primary colors.
Preparation and Set Up:
- Arrange students in pairs.

- Distribute ‘color wheel’ worksheets.
- Distribute markers, crayons, or colored pencils.
- Check that battery packs are working.

Necessary Background N/A
  1. Introduce the new pieces.
    1. Explain that these pieces use electricity and have moving parts. This means that the students will have to be EXTRA CAREFUL and if the pieces are not used properly they will be taken away.
      1. Motors and things attached to motors should NEVER touch people.
      2. Motors should be run at your seat or on the floor. You should NEVER walk around with your motor.
    2. Introduce the new pieces.
    3. Show students how to connect the pieces. Talk about electricity and how it travels through the wire from the battery pack to the motor and that this is why the metal pieces must be connected for the motor to work properly.
  2. Introduce the challenge by talking about primary colors and what happens when you mix two primary colors. Demonstrate what a color wheel is and how two primary colors produce the color between them.
  3. Show students how to color and cut out the circles on their ‘color circles’ worksheet.
  4. Have students color one wheel with two primary colors and the other wheel whatever the students want.
  5. Tape the color circles to a pulley wheel and attach the wheel to a motor that is hooked to a battery pack.
  6. Let the students explore what happens when their color circles spin.
  7. Have students attach their pulley walls consisting of 4 pulley wheels to their motor using an axle extender.
  8. Show students how they can attach 4 color wheels to the same wall and how they will all spin at once.
Extensions or Modifications: - Allow students to do extra color designs on the ‘Color Circle’ worksheet (print out extras).
Sample Image 1

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