PARALLEL PAPER CIRCUIT – Symmetry, Contrast, Emphasis

Students use conductive copper tape to build a parallel paper circuit with a maximum of 3 LEDs. They use the circuit to light up a picture they have created using symmetrical shapes and letters cut out of construction paper.

Required Time

120 Minutes

Grade Level

Grade 3 to Grade 8

Subject

Language Arts
Mathematics
Science
Social Studies
Visual Arts
Media Literacy

Vocabulary

atom balance circuit contrast electron proton symmetry

Materials

Crayola Construction Paper - 22.9 cm x 30.5 cm (9" x 12") - Variety of Colours Crayola Scissors Crayola Glue Sticks Crayola White Glue Crayola Sketchbooks ¼" Self-Adhesive Conductive Copper Tape 3 mm LEDs CR2032 Coin Cell Batteries - 1 per student Duct Tape Cardstock Paper Corrugated Cardboard - 15 cm x 23 cm (6" x 9") - 1 ½ per student

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Steps

PARALLEL PAPER CIRCUIT – Symmetry, Contrast, Emphasis - Step One

Step One

  1. Make 4 thumbnail sketches in your sketchbook.
  2. Use symmetrical shapes for the main images.
  3. Include at least 1 word in your design.
PARALLEL PAPER CIRCUIT – Symmetry, Contrast, Emphasis - Step Two

Step Two

  1. Choose the colours you want to work with.
  2. Cut out rectangles of paper for each of the main shapes.
  3. Fold the rectangles to cut them into symmetrical shapes.
  4. Choose contrasting colours for the details.
  5. Follow the instructions to cut out your letters. (Downloads - CuttingOutLetters.pdf)
  6. Arrange the shapes on the background colour to be sure they all fit.
  7. Once you are satisfied with the design glue the pieces in place.
PARALLEL PAPER CIRCUIT – Symmetry, Contrast, Emphasis - Step Three

Step Three

  1. Use a glue stick to apply lots of glue to the back of the picture.
  2. Glue the picture onto a piece of corrugated cardboard.
  3. Press the paper down so it is flat and smooth.
PARALLEL PAPER CIRCUIT – Symmetry, Contrast, Emphasis - Step Four

Step Four

  1. Place the picture on a small piece of foam sponge.
  2. Use a small nail to push holes into the cardboard where you want the LEDs to be.
  3. Push the nail through the cardboard and into the sponge.
PARALLEL PAPER CIRCUIT – Symmetry, Contrast, Emphasis - Step Five

Step Five

  1. Draw the circuit on the back of the cardboard.
  2. Make sure the lines go to the holes you have made.
  3. Leave a small gap between the holes. 
PARALLEL PAPER CIRCUIT – Symmetry, Contrast, Emphasis - Step Six

Step Six

  1. Apply copper tape to all the lines.  
  2. Smooth the copper down with your finger.  
  3. Fold the tape at the corners.
    - fold it at a 45° angle away from the direction you are going
    - make a crease then fold it back along the circuit line - 180° angle
  4. Leave a gap in the copper tape at each hole.
PARALLEL PAPER CIRCUIT – Symmetry, Contrast, Emphasis - Step Seven

Step Seven

  1. Insert the LEDs into the holes.
  2. Bend the legs at a 90° angle.
  3. Use a small piece of copper tape to attach the LED to the copper tape on either side of the hole.
  4. Make sure the long leg of the LED is attached to the positive side of the circuit.
PARALLEL PAPER CIRCUIT – Symmetry, Contrast, Emphasis - Step Eight

Step Eight

  1. Glue a strip of cardstock long enough to reach the battery at a right angle to the positive end of the copper tape. This will be the switch to turn the LEDs on and off.
  2. Stick several strips of copper tape to the cardstock.
  3. Make sure the copper tape runs onto the positive end of the circuit tape.
  4. Use a glue stick to apply a small dab of glue to each side of the negative end of the copper tape.
  5. Place the battery on top of the copper tape so the glue holds it in place.

 

PARALLEL PAPER CIRCUIT – Symmetry, Contrast, Emphasis - Step Nine

Step Nine

  1. Close the paper switch to test the circuit.
  2. Make sure the copper tape on the cardstock makes contact with the battery.
  3. The LEDs should light up.
  4. Place 2 small pieces of duct tape on each side of the cardstock switch to hold it in place.
  5. Make sure the duct tape does not touch the copper tape.
PARALLEL PAPER CIRCUIT – Symmetry, Contrast, Emphasis - Step Ten

Step Ten

  1. Cut 2 cardboard rectangles 5 cm x 8 cm.
  2. Cut one long side of each rectangle on a slight angle – about 75°.
  3. Use white glue to attach the cardboard pieces to the back of the corrugated cardboard.
    - draw 2 lines of glue on the back of the picture
    - place the angle side of the small rectangle into the glue and line up the bottom of the rectangle with the bottom of the picture
    - hold the cardboard in place for a few seconds until the glue sets
  4. Allow to dry for about an hour.
PARALLEL PAPER CIRCUIT – Symmetry, Contrast, Emphasis - Step Eleven

Step Eleven

  1. Stand the picture up.
  2. Close the switch to turn on the LEDs.

Learning Goals

Students will be able to:

  • follow instructions to cut letters out of construction paper;
  • create a picture using words and symmetrical shapes cut out of construction paper;
  • create a picture that communicates a message about Father's Day;
  • use contrasting colours to create areas of emphasis;
  • construct a parallel paper circuit to light up their picture;
  • demonstrate technical accomplishment and creativity.

Extensions

Have students:

  • create a presentation explaining some aspect of electricity and/or circuits;
  • include an intereactive activity in their presentation;
  • create a video of their presentation;
  • share their video or presentation with the class. 

Prepare

  1. Gather the materials needed for this project.
  2. Pre-cut the corrugated cardboard - 15 cm x 23 cm (6" x 9")
  3. Download and display the Balance and Contrast posters available on this website.
  4. Download and copy the Cutting Out Letters worksheet, enough for groups of students to share. (Downloads - CutOutAlphabet.pdf)
  5. Review or teach symmetry and lines of symmetry.
  6. Teach electricity and circuits.
  7. Gather and make available books about Father's Day such as, Oh, Daddy! by Bob Shea; I Love My Daddy, by Sebastien Braun; Just Me and My Dad, by Mercer Mayer; and Me and My Dad! by Alison Ritchie.
  8. Gather several books illustrated by Lois Ehlert, for example, The Scraps Book: Notes from a Colorful Life; Fish Eyes; Waiting for Wings; and Chicka Chicka Boom Boom.
  9. Make a sample.

Introduction

  1. Conduct a read-aloud with Lois Ehlert's book, The Scraps Book: Notes from a Colorful Life.
  2. View and discuss the illustrations drawing attention to her collage technique.
    - simple shapes
    - contrasting colours
    - use of space
    - repetition of shapes
  3. Discuss Father's Day and how it is celebrated by students.
  4. Introduce the challenge.

Activities

The Challenge

  1. Follow instructions to cut letters out of construction paper.
  2. Create a picture using words and symmetrical shapes cut out of construction paper.
  3. Create a picture that communicates a message about Father's Day.
  4. Use contrasting colours to create areas of emphasis.
  5. Construct a parallel paper circuit to light up your picture.
  6. Demonstrate technical accomplishment and creativity.

The Process

  1. Ensure that everyone understands the challenge.
  2. Establish success criteria with your students, for example,
    I know I am successful when I have:
    - followed instructions to accurately cut out letters
    used contrast to create areas of emphasis
    - created a picture using symmetrical shapes and words cut out of construction paper

    - created a picture that communicates a message about Father's Day
    - built a parallel paper circuit with at least 2 LEDs
    - created an on/off switch for my circuit
    - kept the project in good condition
  3. Guide students through the steps outlined in this lesson plan.
  4. Observe students as they work.
  5. Encourage them to share and expand on each other's ideas as they explore the materials.  
  6. Provide individual assistance and encouragement.

Sharing

  1. Place students into small groups. 
  2. Ask them to: 
    - compare their work and describe how they are similar, and how they are different;
    - talk about the challenges of creating a parallel paper circuit;
    - talk about how they could use what they learned in a different way.
  3. Share ideas with the whole class. 
  4. Ask them to tell how they felt about doing this project.

Assessment

  1. Observe students as they work – thoughtful focus, discriminating, seeking more information, elaborating, experimenting.
  2. Observe students as they discuss their work – active listening, insightful contributions, supporting ideas with evidence found in the artwork and from personal experience.
  3. Use a checklist to track progress. (Downloads - Circuit_tracking.pdf)
  4. Have students use the self-assessment form to evaluate their work. (Downloads - Circuit_self-assessment.pdf)