Circuit Study Guide

This morning I stumbled across an interesting site that showcased a fun little study guide that anyone can build in about an hour. The plus side to this is that you get to teach/learn a little about circuitry in the process. For students who are a little more interested in science, this might be a way to get them to become interested in vocabulary, math or history.

You could even do this with:
grammar rules
chronology in stories
character traits
chemistry: elements
science vocabulary
science facts
math equations
math formulas
history time lines
history definitions
historic figures

Check it out:

This week’s project combines some rudimentary circuitry and any subject your child needs a little extra practice in. I would file this with my “Better Than Worksheets” instructional series on drill and practice had I ever created such a series.

The word circuit is obviously historically related to the word circle. Webster’s 1828 defines it thus:

The act of moving or passing round; as the periodical circuit of the earth round the sun, or of the moon round the earth.

Modern technology may have brought some more specific application to the world, but the meaning has not changed much. Circuitry allows electricity to travel around in a circle to do work. Here, we are going to make a simple circuit board that can serve to allow your child to practice any skill that can be answered in a yes/no or multiple choice format. In this case, it will be multiplying by four.


file folder (with the open edge trimmed so both sides are th same size and shape)
hole punch
masking tape
aluminum foil
circuit tester

    1. Punch holes. You will need two rows of holes. One for each question and one for each answer.

    2. Write the problems along one side and the possible answers on the other.

    3. Open the folder. On the back side of the side you wrote the problems and solutions, lay a strip of foil between a problem and the correct answer. This is the basis of your circuit board. Fold the ends over the hole and make sure the hole is completely covered by the foil. Insulate with masking tape. Make sure none of the foil is showing on the back side.

    4. Continue until all the answers are connected to their problems by a strip of aluminum foil insulated by masking tape. The back will look kind of messy, but that is ok. No one will see it, anyway.

    5. Close the file folder. We do a set of problems on each flap, make the circuit board and then tape the folder closed. This helps protect the work.
    6. Use the circuit tester to work the problems:

Oops. The circuit was not completed, so the tester did not light up. Try again!

Yeah! She got the problem right, the circuit was completed and the tester lit up.

Caution: When you look for a circuit tester, some contain lead. These are not intended as children’s toys. We searched and found one without lead, but still require our daughter to wash her hands after using it.


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