Skip Navigation

Build a Circuit


Build a Circuit

TEKS Objective

Demonstrate that the flow of electricity in circuits requires a complete path through which an electric current can pass and can produce light, heat, and sound.

Essential Understanding

The student knows that energy occurs in many forms and can be observed in cycles, patterns, and systems.

Science Background

Circuits: Energy Quest (website) - Learn the basics about electric circuits, which can be through of as unbroken paths along which an electric current exists or is able to flow.

Energy Quest, California Energy Commission,

Electric Circuits: All About Circuits (website) - Series of explanations and illustrations present the basic concepts of electricity. This page also includes links to information about many other topics related to electricity

Electric Circuits
All About Circuits,

How Does Current Flow in an Electric Circuit? Innovate Us (website) - Brief explanation of different kinds of electrical circuits and how they work.

How Does Current Flow in an Electric Circuit?
Innovate Us,


Signature Lesson

How Electric Current Produces Energy: Ohio Department of Education (PDF) - Students create electrical circuits and demonstrate how the electric current in a circuit can produce light, sound and thermal energy.

How Electric Current Produces Energy
Ohio Department of Education,

Supporting Lessons

Scouting for Circuits: Charles A. Dana Center (PDF) - Students construct a circuit and a conductivity tester to determine if various materials conduct electric current. (Producing Light lesson)

Scouting for Circuits
Charles A. Dana Center,

Heating Up! Utah Education Network (website) - Students explore and learn how heat can be produced from electricity. (Producing heat lesson).

Heating Up!
Utah Education Network,

Steadiness Tester: PBS Kids Go! (website) - Students create a circuit that buzzes when the circuit is completed. Steadiness Tester is a game that utilizes this buzzer to test one’s hand steadiness while moving an aluminum foil-covered loop along the contours of a coat hanger.(Producing Sound lesson)

Steadiness Tester
PBS Kids Go!

Elaboration Lessons and Extensions

Light Your Way: TeachEngineering (website) - Students explore one use of electricity while designing and constructing a working portable flashlight.

Light Your Way

Flashlight: PBS Kids (website) - Instructions for building a simple homemade flashlight.

PBS Kids,


Assessment Ideas

Solve questions 8 and 9 on page six of the “Scouting for Circuits” activity in the Supporting Lessons. Click the link to access the lesson.

Scouting for Circuits

Literature Connections


Simply Science: Electricity. Felicia, L. (ISBN-13: 978-1433900310)

Making a Circuit. Oxlade, Chris (ISBN-13: 978-1432956790)

Cool Circuits. Martineau, Susan (ISBN-13: 978-1615334049)

Dear Mr. Henshaw. Cleary, Beverly (ISBN-13: 978-0688024055)

Discovering Electricity. Bains, Rae (ISBN-13: 978-0893755652)

The Story of Electricity. Bailey, Jacqui (ISBN-13: 978-1404811294)

Related Science TEKS

(5.1A) Science Safety
The student is expected to demonstrate safe practices and the use of safety equipment as described in the Texas Safety Standards during classroom and outdoor investigations.

(5.2A) Design/Conduct Experiment with One Variable
The student is expected to describe, plan, and implement simple experimental investigations testing one variable.

(5.2B) Ask Questions, Formulate a Hypothesis
The student is expected to ask well-defined questions, formulate testable hypotheses, and select and use appropriate equipment and technology.

(5.2C) Collect Data
The student is expected to collect information by detailed observations and accurate measuring.

(5.2D) Analyze Evidence and Explain
The student is expected to analyze and interpret information to construct reasonable explanations from direct (observable) and indirect (inferred) evidence.

(5.2E) Value of Repeated Experiments
The student is expected to demonstrate that repeated investigations may increase the reliability of results.

(5.2F) Communicate Conclusions
The student is expected to communicate valid conclusions in both written and verbal forms.

(5.2G) Graphs, Tables, Charts
The student is expected to construct appropriate simple graphs, tables, maps, and charts using technology, including computers, to organize, examine, and evaluate information.

(5.6A) Forms and Uses of Energy
The student is expected to explore the uses of energy, including mechanical, light, thermal, electrical, and sound energy.

Related Math TEKS

(5.12B) The student is expected to use experimental results to make predictions.

(5.14B) The student is expected to solve problems that incorporate understanding the problem, making a plan, carrying out the plan, and evaluating the solution for reasonableness.

(5.15A) The student is expected to explain and record observations using objects, words, pictures, numbers, and technology.

Additional Resources

Energy Story: Energy Quest (website) - Energy education website that teaches “energy ethic” for conserving finite resources to insure our energy future.

Energy Story
Energy Quest, California Energy Commission,

The Blobz Guide to Electric Circuits: Andy Thelwell (website) - This interactive website teaches students about circuits and conductors.

The Blobz Guide to Electric Circuits
by Andy Thelwell,

Physics in the Sink: Dancing Water: American Physical Society (website) - Brief exploration of static electricity that can serve as a demo lesson and/or introduction to electricity. Students use a comb charged with static electricity to divert a stream of water.

Physics in the Sink
by the American Physical Society,

Science Center: Energizer (website) - Learn about circuits, the principles of electricity, flashlights and batteries at this commercial website, home of the famous “bunny.”

Science Center



Close Comments Button


Post a Comment
Close Comments Button