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Unit of work

Electrical conductors

Computational thinking, Computer systems, Programming, Sciences | MakeCode | 7-11 yrs

Lessons summary

In this series of five lessons aimed at pupils aged 8-9 years (KS2 Year 4 in England, Grade 3 in the USA), pupils develop their understanding of flowchart algorithms, selection and inputs and outputs by using electrical circuits and the BBC micro:bit to test the conductivity of different materials.

The unit comprises five lessons of approximately 60 minutes each:

  1. Unplugged lesson building electrical circuits and testing materials
  2. Unplugged lesson exploring selection and flowchart algorithms
  3. Tinkering with inputs on the micro:bit using the MakeCode editor
  4. Electrical conductivity testing with the micro:bit
  5. Unplugged review, decomposing learning in the unit

Learning objectives

  • can understand and apply the fundamental principles and concepts of computer science, including abstraction, logic, algorithms and data representation
  • have repeated practical experience of writing computer programs in order to solve problems 
  • can evaluate and apply information technology
  • are responsible, competent, confident and creative users of information and communication technology

Additional skills

Creative thinking, collaboration, problem-solving, testing.

You will need

Downloadable resources:

  • Lesson plan
  • Lesson slides
  • Student handouts
  • HEX files

Other resources:

  • alligator / crocodile clip leads
  • batteries
  • buzzers (optional)
  • coins (optional)
  • erasers (optional)
  • felt cloth (optional)
  • kitchen foil (optional)
  • lightbulbs
  • MakeCode editor
  • micro:bits
  • motors (optional)
  • paper - large sheets
  • paper - writing
  • pencil sharpeners (optional)
  • pencils (optional)
  • printouts of slides
  • scissors (optional)
  • student work from previous lesson