Building A Flashlight - Preparation Day

3 teachers like this lesson
Print Lesson


Students will prepare the components to build a homemade flashlight.

Big Idea

Students will use their previously acquired knowledge to build a flashlight.

RAP - Review and Preview

5 minutes

I call students to the gathering area. We review the sculptures that we made yesterday. We talk about the things that were frustrating and the problems we had to solve to make the light or buzzer come on. I have students make a list of items that had to be checked and secured to ensure efficient operation every time.

I tell students that today we are going to prepare materials to make our own flashlights. We will prepare the materials with my assistance, but tomorrow students will put it together as a performance assessment.

Guided Investigation

30 minutes

Each student receives 2 D-size batteries, a small 3V flashlight bulb, 2 brass fasteners, 2 5-inch sections of insulated wire, 1 paperclip, 1 toilet paper roll, 1 dixie cup,  6-inch square of aluminum foil, and duct tape.

Today we will prepare the components in preparation for putting it all together tomorrow. Students cut about half the length of the dixie cup off to make a small bowl. In the bottom, they punch a hole big enough for the bulb to push through. Students line the cup with aluminum foil, paying attention to keep it as smooth as possible. Students stick it in with white school glue and set it aside to dry. Students cover the outside of their toilet paper tubes with duct tape of their choice. They also cover the outside of the dixie cup with duct tape. Students punch two small holes in the side of the toilet paper hole to push the brass fasteners through. This should be done with adult supervision, as it will likely need a knife to get through the duct tape.

Wrap Up

10 minutes

I call students back to the gathering area. We talk about what we just prepared today. I ask students to predict how they think they will be using the components to make their flashlight tomorrow. Students usually have great answers for the bulb and battery placement. However, they often do not have an answer for the brass fasteners and paperclip. I try to have students brainstorm how they might make a switch. I do not answer the question, but I help them brainstorm and begin thinking through the issue for tomorrow.