Saturday, January 8, 2011

Creating an Electric Circuit

Creating a Simple Electric Circuit with Current Electricity

Electric Circuit

I think this is my favorite activity to do with kids because of how excited they get the 1st time they light up a bulb!

Materials Needed
  • safety glasses & safety gloves
  • D cell battery
  • wide elastic band or battery holder
  • small bulb
  • bulb holder
  • 2 wires with alligator clips (or 2 insulated {Bell} wires with stripped ends approx. 7 inches each)
  • switch and extra wire (optional)

These materials can be bought in a kit for 1 or 2 students ( or from a science supply company for a large classroom ( ).
Sometimes, the kits can also be found in craft stores such as A C Moore or Michael's. I bought a kit at Marshalls.

 The kit I found at Marshall's (for 1 student or a small group) is now available at Amazon (see below). It comes with great directions.


With adult supervision, have the students put on safety glasses and gloves, then connect the material as pictured above to light their bulb. If you decide to add a switch to the circuit, they will need a 3rd wire.

Open Switch  
Closed Switch

In the circuit, the battery is the source of electrical energy (power),  the wires are the path through which the charges flow, and the light bulb is the user of  the electricity. A switch can turn the electricity on or off. The circuit needs to be a complete loop for the bulb to light.
Have fun!

As a follow up, children should sketch a picture of their circuit and label the parts in their science notebooks.

As a Language Arts Extension, students could write a paragraph (or a letter) to a friend explaining the steps that are needed to build an electric circuit.


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    Deb @

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