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

Making Lightning





Name of Activity Making Lightning
Author Ramona Gravesande
Keywords found materials, electricity, current, lightning, electrons, protons, thunder
Subject Non-LEGO
Grade Level K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
Time 1 Hour Total
Brief Description Students will use household materials to create an electric current similar to lightning.
Lesson Objectives: To teach students how lightning forms and why it strikes.
Materials Needed: Aluminum pie pans
Styrofoam plates
Wool cloth
Preparation and Set Up: Gather necessary materials.
Arrange student into groups of 2 – 4.
Distribute necessary materials.
Necessary Background Lightening occurs when a connection is made from electrons in the bottom of a cloud to protons in the ground. Electrons in the bottom of the cloud are attracted to the protons in the ground. When the connection is made the protons rush to meet the electron and that is when you see lightening. A bolt of lightening heats the air along its path casing it to expand rapidly. Thunder is the sound caused by this rapid expanding air.


  1. Push a thumbtack through the bottom center of an aluminum pie pan.
  2. Push the eraser of a pencil through the thumbtack to make a handle to lift the pan.
  3. Take a styrofoam plate and rub the underside with wool  for one minute, rubbing hard and fast.
  4. Pick up the pie pan with the dplace it on top of the upside-down styrofoam plate again.
  5. If students do not feel anything they should rub the styrofoam plate again and touch the pie pan with the lights out and see what happens.
Reference 1
Reference 2

Ohm’s Law and Series Circuits





Name of Activity Ohm’s Law and Series Circuits
Author STOMP
Keywords circuit, electricity, Ohm’s Law, voltage, resistance, current
Subject Non-LEGO
Grade Level 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9+
Time 1 Hour Total
Brief Description Students will build a simple circuit using previous knowledge about electricity. They will use Ohm’s Law to analyze the circuit.
Lesson Objectives: - To introduce electricity, circuits, and electrical engineering.
- To apply Ohm’s law to real circuits.
Materials Needed: - 24 Gauge AWG wire, cut to 8 inch lengths w/stripped ends. Give each student group 5 – 6 8 inch pieces.
- 9V battery with connector plate.
- 2 1-Watt light bulbs with lamp bases.
- 2 Toggle switches.
- Alligator clip.
Preparation and Set Up: - Make a copy of the worksheet for each student.
- Prepare a demo circuit.

- Arrange students in groups of 2 – 3.

- Distribute materials.

Necessary Background Ohm’s Law describes the relationship between the voltage, current, and resistance of a circuit. This relationship is given in the relationship Voltage = Current x Resistance. Knowing this relationship, it is possible to find any of the three values as long as the other two are known.

Ohm’s Law

  1. Go though slides 6 – 8 of the attached Powerpoint
  2. Go over your demo circuit and calculate the current using Ohm’s law Current (amps) = Voltage/Resistance
    1. Voltage can be found on the side of a battery (9V for this activity).
    2. Resistance is about 81 ohms for each light bulb.
  3. Distribute the worksheets and materials and assist the students in creating the circuits and calculating the current using Ohm’s law.
Extensions or Modifications: Design on paper a circuit of your choice, using whatever size battery and resistors you want. Calculate the Voltage, Resistance and Current in your circuit. Your teacher will show you a circuit that she or she has built. Draw a circuit diagram representing it.
Reference 1
Reference 2
Reference 3
Reference 4
Reference 5

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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