In a creative writing lesson, students create characters with special powers, using littleBits modules and write stories in which one or more of the creatures play a role.
Students will be able to:
– Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, descriptive details, and clear event sequences.
– Use creativity skills to create a creature using everyday materials and littleBits modules.
Common Core ELA Standards for Writing
– CCRA.W1-3:Text type and purposes
– CCRA.W4-6: Production and Distribution of Writing
– Peer reviews
– Teacher feedback throughout writing process
Learn more about the workshop that inspired this lesson here:
Duration: 2 – 4 hours
Elementary (ages 8-10)
Middle School (ages 11-13)
English Language Arts
MODULES & ACCESSORIES USED (21)
slide dimmer (1)
roller switch (1)
dc motor (1)
long led (1)
light sensor (1)
vibration motor (1)
pressure sensor (1)
sound trigger (1)
bright led (1)
E – markers (1)
battery + cable (1)
OTHER MATERIALS USED (5)
Styrofoam Balls 1
Pipe cleaners 1
Construction paper 1
STEP 1 : Brainstorming
Introduce the lesson by telling students that they will be writing stories centered around a character of their own creation. Then show the students their options for animal templates. Show students a character that you made (in advance). Invite students to come up with suggestions for the special powers the character might have. Explain that they will use littleBits to demonstrate the special powers. Powers might include: A wand that lights up every time it casts a spell, a blinking eye that can see into the future, and so forth.
Tell them they will have an opportunity to use littleBits modules to add interactivity to their creations. Let the students select an animal template (or design their own) and brainstorm, with a partner, special powers ideas.
STEP 2 : Creature Design
If your students have little to no experience with littleBits modules, consider giving a demonstration of how the modules work.
Then, give students an opportunity to construct circuits, using little bits, that achieve the desired interactivity for their characters. Students can sketch their ideas.
STEP 3 : A construction and prototyping phase
(30 – 45 min)
Once students have a plan for how their characters will look and behave, pass out materials (or make them available on a table) and let the students build their interactive creatures.
Students might construct different creatures, such as: a tail-wagging animal, robots, and so forth – out of craft materials and littleBits. Eight templates available, but participants are encouraged to create their own designs.
STEP 4 : Narrative writing phase
Review characteristics of a good narrative, such as: it involves the readers in the story, includes details, is told from a point of view, makes a point, and so forth. Hopefully, students will have read narratives prior to this lesson.
Students will write a story in which their creature play a role. They may choose to include other creatures made by fellow students as characters in their story.
During the writing process, have students review each other’s work, providing constructive feedback. You can also review their rough drafts and of course, final drafts.
STEP 5 : Presentations of stories and creatures
(45 – 60 minutes)
Students read their stories to the class and demonstrate the interactivity of their creatures.