Makey makey interactive poster
About this lesson
The Makey Makey combined with Scratch.mit.edu will enable students to record a voiceover for the poster to add extra information and create an interactive project. This can be applied to any subject area. The target group is Years 3-4, but as not all students have been exposed to coding and physical computing it could be used with secondary students. This lesson idea was created by Meridith Ebbs.
Year band: 3-4Curriculum Links Assessment
Links with Digital Technologies Curriculum Area
Identify and explore a range of digital systems with peripheral devices for different purposes, and transmit different types of data (ACTDIK007)
Implement simple digital solutions as visual programs with algorithms involving branching (decisions) and user input (ACTDIP011)
Living things have life cycles (ACSSU072)
By the end of Year 4, students describe how a range of digital systems (hardware and software) and their peripheral devices can be used for different purposes. They describe relationships that assist the survival of living things and sequence key stages in the life cycle of a plant or animal.
- Teachers observe students using the Makey Makeys, creating their algorithms and debugging.
- Use questioning to elicit student understanding of the functions of the Makey Makey, scratch programming and poster and their algorithmic thinking. Determine if all students had an opportunity to work with all components of the project.
- You might take photos of the students’ final posters to document their progress, or record the interactive poster in their final demonstration.
- Determine if recording and poster have enough detail on how the life cycle can be interrupted by natural and man-made problems eg: shade from buildings, lack of water, poor soil or predators.
|Quantity of knowledge||Quality of understanding|
|Algorithms||No working curcuit.||Circuit only working in a few points.||Circuit and programming working for all points.||Circuit has instructions linked in the correct sequence to achieve the task.||Circuit brings in prior learning and/or independent learning beyond the task and possibly includes repetition.|
|Knowledge||Basic or no information about the life cycle of a tomato.||Includes information about the lifecycle but limited information about natural and man made effects that can impact on life cycles.||Includes information about natural and man made practises that can impact on life cycles.||Poster includes a graphic of the tomato lifecycle and limited additional interactive information.||The poster includes a graphic of the life cycle and additional interactive information detailing how life cycles are interrupted by both natural and man-made activities.|
|Vocabulary||When describing algorithms, coding terms or Makey Makey circuit, no specific vocabulary is used||The terms instruction, algorithms, coding terms or Makey Makey may be used as a general description.||The terms instruction, algorithms, coding terms and Makey Makey may be used as a description with reasoning about why the project was set up the way it is.||The terms algorithm, coding terms and Makey Makey is used confidently with specific reference to learner’s work.||Specific vocabulary like decisions and repetition is used, going beyond the set language NSW vocabulary should include scientific words regarding the life cycle process and advanced nature of the writing and script recorded for all levels.|
Download a summary of this lesson idea here , which includes teacher/student instructions, space for results and also investigation evaluation prompts.
- Makey Makey
- Cardboard poster, Model or Diorama
- Written scripts with information to be recorded for interactive project
- Split pins
- Computer with browser with Flash functionality (not an ipad)
- Scratch logins - Educator Account will be needed for students under 13 or CS First or students can create their own account.
For ease, particularly with younger students, it may be easier for teachers to create a class set of logins to distribute to students.
- Sharp 2B Pencil
- Pen, textas, pencils
- Camera to take pictures of finished structure (and during building process)
Prior Student Learning
Research topic area and create a poster or model for concept. Identify key areas of the poster to add interactive points. eg: Research the lifecycle of a tomato and create a poster to illustrate their understanding. Grow a tomato plant in the classroom.
Write a script with additional information to enhance the poster/model, the script will be used for the recording the information.
Be familiar with the parts of a Makey Makey. Students should be given time to explore how the circuit works and conductivity of the points, prior to the adding it to a poster. The Makey Makey site has a visual procedure for setting up a Makey Makey.
A still life drawing lesson using tomatoes prior to creating the poster on the life cycle of a tomato could enhance the quality of drawings on the poster.
- Students have created a poster (or model). It is to be an interactive poster on the topic of the tomato life cycle.
- Students are asked to research the life cycle of a tomato and different factors that may influence the successful growth of plant and bearing fruit. eg: water, soil, sun, too much or too little of each, being planted in the wrong position, changes in the environment both natural and man-made.
Learning map and outcomes
- Students conduct research to identify how different elements both natural and man made forces impact on the life cycle of a tomato
- Students write a plan and compose a script based on their research.
- Students connect the Makey Makey to create a working circuit with conductive points on the poster.
- Students work together to record their scripts in scratch.mit.edu to provide additional support information to their research.
- Students work in teams to design their visual program using a scratch.
- Students work in teams to ensure their system works when the user touches the split pins on the poster.
- Students can debug their hardware and software to create a working system.
The teacher models how to create a series of blocks (algorithm) in scratch.mit.edu on the board. Teacher models how to connect one point on the Makey Makey to the split pin on the poster. The teacher demonstrates how to make the program operate.
If students have not used the Makey Makey before you will need to allow time to demonstrate/explore how the Makey Makey works and the significance of the neutral or earth connection.
The recorded scripts should include information about how the lifecycle could be interrupted by both natural and man made interventions eg: lack of water, sun, poor soil, human land use, predators.
The teacher introduces and uses new language: “algorithm” and “debugging/debug”, “circuit”, “interactive point”.
Depending on the experience of your class the teacher may offer an opportunity for students to solve the problems themselves prior to demonstration. The teacher may choose to only demonstrate one point and ask students to create the rest without assistance. This could be differentiated so lower students have visual support of the graphic below but more capable students do not.
Learners now work in teams, to construct their own series of blocks (algorithm) and a recording using their script. Once the recording is working in scratch.mit.edu they can then work together to connect the Makey Makey. Teams are given the opportunity to create additional interactive points using the split pins and scratch, by recording their voices and connecting the Makey Makey.
Once all teams have had a chance to test and debug their algorithm, teams are given a chance to demonstrate their learning to the class, or another team. Peers are to be critical friends and to help provide feedback.
Students are given a chance to think about and describe what happened in their scratch programming and to talk about what they learned and how they might change or extend their algorithm for next time.
- Download entire lesson plan: PDF version.
- Download entire lesson plan: Microsoft Word version.
- Makey Makey projects and information
- CS Unplugged Interface Design
- Designing for users with disabilities
- This lesson plan corresponds to professional learning in the following CSER Digital Technologies MOOCs: F-6 Digital Technologies: Foundations
- Unit 4: Digital Systems