Watch this video of a light up, musical Christmas card.
If possible, bring in greeting cards that light up and play music.
After watching the video ask students how the designer of this card made the card light up and play music. Have them record their predictions in their science notebook.
Tell them that today they are going to be exploring electric circuits and pretend they are designers for a card company.
Students will need a copy of the robot template from the Circuit Templates file. As well as the following materials: copper tape, batteries, and LED bulbs.
Show students that the light bulb will light up when you directly touch the bulb to the wires. Let them explore with the light bulbs and battery for a few minutes.
- Ask the students:
- How did you get your bulb to light up?
- Did anyone try to light their bulb and fail?
- Do you ever need to have the bulb away from the energy source?
Tell students that first we are going to follow a template when creating our electrical circuit, and later they will be the designers.
Display the model you created before the lesson.
Do the following to begin creating the circuit:
- Press copper tape on the circuit traces.
- Be sure to leave breaks in the tape for the LED, switch, and battery.
- When tracing the circuit templates with tape, or creating your own circuit, try to turn corners without cutting the tape.When you need to join pieces of copper tape, be sure that the pieces overlap. Press the pieces firmly with your fingernail to ensure the best connection.
Follow these steps to put a battery in the circuit:
- To put a battery into a circuit, both sides of the battery need to be a part of the conducting path. To do this, follow these steps:
- Create a break in the circuit.
- Place the battery on the copper tape right before the break.(The side of the battery with the words is the positive side).
- Extend the copper tape from the other side of the break so that it touches the top of the battery.
- Fold a small part of the end under so the shiny part of the tape shows on both sides. Now both sides of the battery are in the circuit!
- You can add a piece of transparent tape to reinforce the battery’s connection and to keep it securely in place.
Have students glue their robots in their science notebooks.
After students have made their robots eyes light up, discuss with students the components that make up a complete series circuit. Show the class the examples of a series and parallel circuits and a circuit with a switch.
Discuss the components of a circuit. Make sure students know the difference between conductors and insulators, parts of a circuit, and positivity and negativity.
Read aloud the articles How do electric circuits work? and Electrical Circuits for Kids with the class.
Students will record new learning and observations in their science notebook.
- Ask the students:
- Should the LEDs be connected in series or parallel?
- Which colors work together? Which colors don’t?
- Where should the battery go?
Students will use items from the material list to design and construct their own greeting card. Here is a guide for creating the greeting card.