Students in grade 2-4 will be exposed to the basics of Littlebits and explore the components of littleBits through hands on exploration in small groups with peers.
Duration: 2 days
Elementary (ages 8-10)
STEP 1 : Set Up
Show the Intro video from: TedTalk: Building Blocks that Blink and Teach
STEP 2 : Connect
Begin by asking students to brainstorm ways in which we use and rely on electronics in our everyday lives. In small groups, ask students to rank the top five electronic devices they couldn’t live without, providing rationale for the ways in which our lives would be significantly different without electronics. Ask questions to help students begin thinking like designers and engineers, for example: • How do electronics work? • What do electronics need in order to work? After this introduction, explain to students that they are going to begin experimenting and investigating electronics with littleBits.
STEP 3 : Teach
Distribute a single input Bit and an output Bit to each student and encourage them to explore how the Bits connect. After a few minutes, ask students to share what they have observed and learned about the Bits (for example, they have magnets and snap together). Within this discussion, introduce and define the following terms: • Bit • Circuit • Power • Input • Output • Wire • Switch • Screw If possible, relate these terms to prior learning that you have done in your classroom.
STEP 4 : Engage
Distribute a power Bit, battery, cable, and wire Bit to each student (pair students as needed). Again, provide time for students to explore their Bits independently. Through experimentation and trial and error, students will naturally learn how to assemble littleBits. It is important to provide students with this opportunity. After a few minutes of exploration, ask students to share what they have observed and learned about assembling the Bits. Use guiding questions to promote deeper understanding and engage students in active inquiry, for example: • How can you tell the top of the Bit from the bottom? • How does the bottom of the Bit look different than the top? • How do you know that you are connecting littleBits the right way? • Does the order of assembly matter? • How do the Bit colors inform or affect your design?
STEP 5 : Practice
The remainder of the mini-lesson engages students in active learning through discovery. Place students in small groups of three to four students and ask them to share, swap, and combine Bits to create at least one circuit with power, input and output. Walk around and encourage students to take risks or challenge their thinking, for example: • Can you create a circuit with more than one input? • Can you create a circuit with more than one output?
STEP 6 : Closure
Wrap up the lesson by reviewing what students have learned about how littleBits work. Ask one student from each group to explain a circuit they created, using the terms introduced in the lesson.