This lesson is part of a unit that explores how electricity and processed materials combine to power mobile phones. In this lesson, students use wires, batteries and light bulbs to learn what circuits are and how they work. Students will also learn how to read a circuit diagram, and use this information to find out how circuits and batteries power mobile phones.
- understand what a circuit is, how it works and how to draw a circuit diagram
- understand the basics of how electricity is used in a mobile phone circuit and battery
- understand that electricity travels around circuits in a current and that the circuit has to be complete for the current to flow
- understand how a battery stores electrical energy and how it works
- understand how circuits are used to power mobile phones.
- recognise that mobile phones use batteries and circuits to work
- read a circuit diagram and identify its symbols
- draw a circuit diagram
- create circuits using wires, batteries and LED lights.
Lesson guides and printables
Australian curriculum content descriptions:
Year 5 & 6 – Design and Technology:
- Investigate how electrical energy can control movement, sound or light in a designed product or system (ACTDEK020)
- Investigate characteristics and properties of a range of materials, systems, components, tools and equipment and evaluate the impact of their use (ACTDEK023)
Year 6 – Science (Chemical and Physical):
- Changes to materials can be reversible or irreversible (ACSSU095)
- Electrical energy can be transferred and transformed in electrical circuits and can be generated from a range of sources (ACSSU097)
General capabilities: Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Capability, Critical and Creative Thinking, Ethical Understanding.
Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability
Relevant parts of Year 5&6 achievement standards:
Year 5 & 6 – Design and Technology
Students critically examine technologies − materials, systems, components, tools and equipment − that are used regularly in the home and in local, national, regional or global communities, with consideration of society, ethics and social and environmental sustainability factors.
Year 6 – Science:
They learn about transfer and transformations of electricity, and continue to develop an understanding of energy flows through systems.
Time required: 80 mins
Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – facilitate class discussion, support students in circuit building
- Student Worksheets – one copy per student
- Device capable of presenting a video to the class
- The Parts Of A Phone sheet ready to project for the class
- Enough paper, pens and pencils for each group
- Minimum three lights (LED or similar), six alligator clip wires, one battery holder and a battery between each group of four students
- Enough deconstructed old mobile phones for groups of four students to have one each OR a class set of Parts Of A Phone
Note: LED lights have positive and negative charged points. Students will need support getting their ends right! If wires are attached incorrectly, the LED lights will break, so you will likely need several spares.
Note: If you choose to collect your own phones follow these instructions to deconstruct, How to Take Apart a Phone
Note: Here are some examples of the electronic equipment in this lesson and where to buy them:
- Digital literacy
- Ethical understanding
- Global citizenship
- Problem solving
This lesson has been developed as part of Planet Ark’s National Recycling Week. Following this lesson plan is an ideal way for your school to take part in MobileMuster. You’ll be joining thousands of amazing teachers in making a difference and creating positive environmental change. Take part in the Schools Recycling Right Challenge for Planet Ark’s National Recycling Week. Register your lesson or other activities today!