The SPIRIT Project

Educational Robotics

Lesson Building Block Template

Author: Valerie Schovanec


Grade Level: _7th  Date: __Aug 1, 2006__

Directions: Directions: Definition of a Lesson Building Block:  This is a "Lesson Building Block" from the SPIRIT educational robotics institute.  A 'lesson building block' is in essence an educational activity that might be later turned into a more formal classroom lesson by a creative teacher.  The SPIRIT Institute is striving to put a variety of "lesson building blocks" up on the web for the potential use of teachers as they try to prepare more formal educational lessons using the TekBot robotics platform.

Valerie Schovanec

I.  Concepts  (Give a list of one or more concepts that might be taught using this activity)

Infinite numbers

Multiplication of fractions


II.  Standards: (Standards for Technological Literacy)

OPS—Math 7 Standards 1 and 2    Adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing whole numbers and decimals.  Adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing fractions and mixed numbers.

III.  Learning Activity Context (Describe the overall context for the learning activity)

This lesson focuses on resistors and how they affect current flow.  Students will create a circuit that lights and LED with Popsicle sticks and foil.  Students will then add resistors in parallel and examine the effect on the brightness of the LED.  Finally, students will compare resistors in parallel to multiplying with fractions and having an infinite set of fractions with which to multiply (1/2, 1/3, 1/4, etc...) 

IV.  Teacher and Student Suggestions/Tips

V.  Teacher Questions 

      (Give a list of questions that teachers might ask students during the activity)

VI.  Assessment Ideas

     (Give an idea or two about how the lesson activity might be assessed)

Students will:

• write a paragraph of comparison of resistors in parallel to multiplying by fractions

• write what is happening from the point of view of the current flowing through resistors in parallel

• draw a circuit with resistors in parallel that includes measurements of current flow


VII.  Other Information

     (Give any other information that might be useful or a visual or two)

This lesson is perhaps best used as a supplement to multiplying fractions.  Students often need real life examples of multiplication of fractions and why the final value gets smaller.  This lesson is to reinforce fractions and may not be ideal to introduce the idea.

VIII. A materials list