WIRING A HOUSE: STORY LINE AND 3-HR TRAINING GUIDE
OVERVIEW OF ACTIVITY TRAINING EMPHASIS TIME
Intro: The story line. This gives the overall trajectory Run through this story line verbally. Tell the
of the project, illustrating in a few words how the PLs which activities you will demo and 5
activities are connected. which they will do themselves
Exploration 1 A: Electricity at Home. This activity Demonstrate. Show the diagram (p. 16) and
reveals children’s thinking about electrical supply. It discuss its value and likely results.
provides a basis for ongoing discussion about how these 5
simple circuits relate to “real” circuits – from power Stress that PL’s not correct children’s
stations to power outlets in their homes. thinking at this stage.
Exploration 1 B: Light the Bulb(s). The children PL’s explore materials for ~20 mins.
experiment with two batteries and two holiday bulbs. Break for discussion. Ask “What patterns
They try to determine what conditions (rules) must be have you noticed?” 30
met for the bulbs to light up.
Tell PL’s children may need more time to
work with these materials
Exploration 2: Simple Circuits. Children make/use a Demonstrate how to make a battery holder. 10
battery holder and explore the different outcomes from Have enough pre-made for all teams of PLs
connecting it to three light bulbs in different ways. to use in this workshop.
Emphasis on tracing the electrical pathways through
PL’s solve “Circuit Puzzles” (p 31) in
the circuits to find problems systematically and to
explain why the same light bulbs shine brightly in some
cases and dimly in others. Discuss pathways
Exploration 3: Wire a Flat House Children follow the Demonstrate flat house. Pre-make one 2D 5
story of a family in a house and adjust the wiring in the house for each team.
house to meet the family’s different electricity needs
PL teams each take on one time in story. 15
through the day/night. Children get more practice
connecting wires correctly and tracing pathways to Show/tell discussion of wiring and results
explain their electrical circuits and to troubleshoot
problems in their circuits.
Exploration 4: Switches. Switches add authenticity to Demonstrate how to make simple and
the circuits and they offer a way to assess children’s “dial” switches. Demonstrate how to
manual skill with the materials and their understanding attached each type to 2-D house 15
of electrical pathways.
Have PL’s point out pathways on demo
Exploration 5: Wire a 3-D House Do not rush into Demonstrate. Pre-make a house for each 10
the 3-D until children have a good handle on the 2-D PL team with 4 switches on the porch and
version The 3-D house requires children to keep very bulbs installed.
careful track of which wiring and connection between
PL’s connect switches to bulbs and
power sources, switches and devices. Final challenge is
battery pack. Additional challenge to share
to share wire between multiple devices. This is a good 30
way for children to show their understanding of
General Discussion. How the project will play out PL’s reflect on how they see the whole
with children. Where to give more time, where to help project. What additional help/study of
them, where to let them struggle. content needed? Issues with materials? Issues 20
with pacing? Issues with sense-making and