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  • Simple Circuits in the Elementary Classroom

    Amy Zschaber, www.artfulartsyamy.com artful.artsy.amy@gmail.com @artfulartsyamy

    Simple Circuit Parallel Circuit

    DIY Circuits


    Copper Tape $12.55 / 36 yards


    Button Battery $23.97 / 100


    Wire Stripper $10.18 / 1


    Electrical Tape $12.99 / 12 rolls


    Electrical Wire $5.83 / 25 ft


    3 & 5 mm LED $12.57 / 300



  • STANDARDS (4th Grade) NGSS Science Standards (applicable to this unit) 3-5-ETS1-1 Define a simple design problem reflecting a need or a want that includes specified criteria for success and constraints on materials, time, or cost.

    Visual Art Standards (applicable to this unit) Artistic Perception 1.5 Describe and analyze the elements of art, emphasizing form, as they are used in works of art and found in the environment. Creative Expression 2.3 Use additive and subtractive processes in making simple sculptural forms. 2.7 Use contrast (light and dark) expressively in a work of art. Historical and Cultural Context 3.1 Describe how art plays a role in reflecting life 3.3 Look at and discuss works of art from a variety of time and places Aesthetic Valuing 4.3 Discuss how the subject and selection of media relate to the meaning or purpose of a work of art.

    Dance Standards (applicable to this unit) Artistic Perception 1.1 Demonstrate mental concentration and physical control in performing dance skills. Creative Expression 2.1 Create, develop, and memorize movement patterns & sequences 2.2 Improvise extended movement phrases. 2.6 Perform improvised movement and dance studies with focus and expression. Aesthetic Valuing 4.3 Describe ways in which a dancer effectively communicates ideas and moods.

    Music Standards (applicable to this unit) Creative Expression 2.3 Compose and improvise simple rhythmic and melodic patterns on classroom instruments.


    brown grocery bag (1/student) 3 volt button battery (2/student) copper tape (15 in/student) LED 3-5mm (3-5/student) Black permanent marker Markers / crayons / oil pastels Scissors


    -Teacher Guide for Unit (includes project How-To) http://goo.gl/SxL1Ls password: scoe steam

    History of Robots Video http://goo.gl/tKYh7q

    Design Process Graphic http://goo.gl/KXPgdr

    Basic Circuits Handout http://goo.gl/YMRhNR

    Incredibox http://www.incredibox.com

    Wrecking Crew Orchestra Video http://goo.gl/jIpzue

    Basic Circuits Handout http://goo.gl/YMRhNR

    Dance Critique Rubric http://goo.gl/junsml

    PROCESS 1. Identify & define robots 2. History of Robots video (2:37 minutes) 3. Identify & define parts of a robot 4. Overview project 5. Cut brown paper bag to make vest 6. Decorate bag to look like a robot 7. Identify LED and parts of LED 8. Identify and define basic circuit 9. Students build a basic circuit 10. Identify and define parallel circuit 11. Students build a parallel circuit 12. Wrecking Crew Orchestra video 13. Overview dance portion of the project 14. Demo how to use Incredibox 15. Students compose a beat 16. Students compose an improvised robot dance 17. Students dance 18. Students critique self and others performance


  • Amy Zschaber / azschaber@stancoe.org


    Science 3-5-ETS1-1 Define a simple design problem reflecting a need or a want that includes specified criteria for success and constraints on materials, time, or cost

    Visual Arts Creative Expression 2.7 Communicate values, opinions, or personal insights through an original work of art. Aesthetic Valuing 4.1 Identify how selected principles of design are used in a work of art and how they affect personal responses to and evaluation of the work of art. 4.4 Assess their own works of art, using specific criteria, and describe what changes they would make for improvement.

    PROCESS 1. Identify and define biomimicry 2. Examples of biomimicry 3. Students hypothesize biomimicry usage 4. Identify and define insect characteristics 5. Review design process 6. Students plan and design their insect 7. Discuss function before form 8. Identify and define basic circuit 9. Explore to power an LED 10. Biomimicry video 11. Wiring directions 12. Students work 13. Students complete reflection


    -HaikuDeck Teacher Guide (includes how to steps) https://haikudeck.com/p/b02fbc46dc

    -Biomimicry Planning & Design Sheet http://goo.gl/eAExnM

    -Biomimicry Video http://goo.gl/mTb8TB

    -Basic Circuit Cheat Sheet http://goo.gl/Z9DFz2

    -Biomimicry Circuit Insect Reflection on Learning http://goo.gl/UAALxN

    -STEAM definition and process graphic http://goo.gl/92lQaz


    Wood clothespins (1 per student) 2 four-six inch electrical wires (per student) 2 LEDs per student Electrical tape Assorted pipe cleaners 3-volt button battery (1 per student) Assorted extra building materials Scissors


  • ART MATERIALS -2 1/8 in x 1 5/8 in box (jewelry box; 1 / student) -5 mm LED (1 / student) -Brads (4 / student) -Jumbo paperclip (1 / student) -Insulated wire (10 in / student) -3-volt button batter ( 1 / student) -X-acto Knife (teacher) -Electrical tape ( 2in / student) -Clear tape (2 in / student -White glue -Paper -Crayons

    -White Crayola Model Magic ( 1 oz / 4 students)

    RESOURCES -Teacher Guide https://goo.gl/7cjxGr

    -Virtual Reality and Brain Surgery https://goo.gl/wbEs0F

    -Human Body Template https://goo.gl/q7XLU5

    -Art Project Reflection Rubric https://goo.gl/mnJumZ

    PROCESS 1. Teachers cut holes in box prior to project 2. Teachers strip ends of wire prior to project 3. Watch Virtual Reality and Brain Surgery Video 4. Ask leading questions about video 5. Overview project 6. Use Model Magic to make bones 7. Use Human Body Template to create a body 8. Follow the directions to cut out body template 9. Glue body template to box lid 10. Identify and define circuits 11. Follow directions to build a circuit around human body

    template 12. Test the circuit 13. Put bones in

    the box 14. Put lid on the

    box 15. Test the virtual

    reality Opera-tion! Game model

    16. Complete Art Project Reflec-tion Rubric


    VAPA Standards Artistic Perception 1.1 Identify and describe all the elements of art found in selected works of art (color, shape/form, line, texture, space, value) Creative Expression 2.4 Create increasingly complex original works of art reflecting personal choices and increased technical skill 2.6 Use technology to create original works of art Aesthetic Valuing 4.3 Develop specific criteria as individuals or in group to assess and critique works of art Next Generation Science Standards MS-LS1-3 Use argument supported by evidence for how the body is a system of interacting subsystems composed of groups of cells MS-ESS1-4 Develop a model to generate data for iterative testing and modification of a proposed object, tool, or process such that an optimal design can be achieved

    Purchasing Materials All of the materials can be purchased via Amazon or a small

    electronics shops. Amazon sells kits of 300 LED for under $15. Amazon sells 100 cardboard jewelry boxes for under

    $25. Amazon sells 100 3-volt button batteries for under $25. The other items are relatively inexpensive, and might even

    be an unused resource at your school!


    00 Cover Page Handout02 Lesson Plan Kinetic Robots03 Lesson Plan Biomimicry Insects04 Lesson Plan Operation Game