Introduction: Question of the Day
Ready for a ‘Question of the Day’? This interactive poll will be set up in a general area of the school such as the cafeteria or school lobby. A question will be asked aloud, and students will pick between 3 answer choices. The results will show on screen for 5 seconds and then be ready for the next student. This activity can be quickly duplicated, and the question easily changed from day to day.
Step 1: Design an Answer Board
1. Make the buttons.
- Using cardboard, cut out the shape of 5 buttons, a question mark, a check mark, a triangle, a circle, and a square.
2. Add height.
- Using scrap pieces, create a small stack of cardboard, at least 1 cm high, for each shape. These will give your shape height and allow them to act as toggle switches.
3. Add color (optional).
- Use crayons, markers, or construction paper to color the front of each shape – question mark = black, check mark = green, triangle = blue, circle = red, and square = yellow.
4. Attach aluminum foil.
- Wrap each shape in aluminum foil. Make sure the bottom back of each shape is covered. Use tape and glue as needed.
5. Put it all together.
- Tape or glue the stacked cardboard pieces to the cardboard frame. (I used clear tape since I did not want the tape to be seen.)
- Using 3 pieces of foil, glue a foil below each stacked cardboard piece. Make sure the foil is at the bottom edge of the cardboard frame.
- Glue or tape the triangle, circle, and square to the stacked cardboard pieces. Use clear tape to affix the top of each shape to the cardboard frame.
- Repeat for the question mark and the check mark.
Step 2: Program in Scratch
1. Sign into Scratch. https://scratch.mit.edu
2. Create a New Project. Name your project ‘Question of the Day’.
3. Type your Question.
a. Select the ‘Stage’. On the toolbar, click ‘Backdrops’.
b. Click the ‘T’ for text. Type your question. In this example, we are using: Would you rather be able to fly, be invisible, or be able to run fast? You could ask students any questions, such as: Should our school mascot be a lion, a tiger, or a bear? Which should be our next school read aloud: The Boy who Harnessed the Wind, Cleo Edison Oliver, Playground Millionaire, or The Lemonade War?
c. (To make the questions more accessible, you could also add shapes or colors to match the sprites.)
d. Click the arrow icon to resize the text as needed. You may also need to press ‘Enter’ after words to have text show up on the next row so that all words appear on the screen.
4. Record your Question.
a. On the toolbar, click ‘Sounds’.
b. Hover over the sound icon in the bottom left corner.
c. Click the microphone.
d. Record yourself reading your question.
e. If needed, trim the recording by moving the orange bars on the ends.
f. Save your recording.
5. Code Question.
a. On the toolbar, click ‘Code’.
b. Add the Events block ‘When space key pressed’.
c. Add the Sound block ‘Play sound (your question) until done’.
6. Add 4 sprites to your project.
· To be able to easily reuse my materials, I uploaded a triangle, square, circle, and a check. You can choose any 4 Sprites that make sense with your question.
a. Click ‘Choose sprite’.
b. Select a sprite. Repeat until you have 4 sprites --3 for the answers and 1 for the submit button.
c. Delete the Scratch Cat. Click the Cat icon, then click the trash can.
d. Move and arrange the remaining sprites so they are halfway down in a line going across the screen.
e. Move the submit button up near the question.
7. Make a Variable.
a. Use ‘Make a Variable’ to make a variable.
b. Name the variables something appropriate for the sprite you chose.
c. Add ‘Change my variable by 1’
d. Add ‘When the sprite clicked’.
e. Do this for each sprite.
f. Move and arrange the variable button so that it is located below or in the middle of each sprite.
8. Code Answer sprites.
a. Use the Events block ‘When _____ key pressed’. (The key such as up arrow will correspond with Makey Makey wire.)
b. Add Variables block ‘Change (your sprite name) by 1’.
c. Repeat for each sprite.
d. Optional: Add Control block ‘Wait 1 second’. This will help stop students from accidentally pressing multiple times.
9. Code Submit button.
· This will display the question/ poll results for a short time on the screen.
a. Use the Events block ‘When ____ key pressed’.
b. Add Variables block ‘Show variable (your sprite name)’. Add this variable block for each sprite.
c. Add Events block ‘Wait __ seconds’. Change the 1 to a 5.
d. Add Variables block ‘Hide variable (your sprite name)’. Add this variable block for each sprite.
10. Code a Hidden Reset and Quick View buttons.
a. Add the X sprite and an Eye sprite. Resize and move the X and Eye sprites to the top right of the screen.
b. On the Sprite toolbar, locate ‘Show’. Click the eye with a slash through it. This will hide the X and Eye sprite on the screen.
· The X sprite will allow you to easily reset the variables and quickly reuse the Question of the Day.
c. Use the Event block ‘When this sprite clicked’.
d. Add Variable block ‘set (your sprite name) to 0. Add this variable block for each sprite.
· The Eye sprite will allow you to easily see the variable amounts.
e. Next, use the Event block ‘When this sprite clicked’
f. Add Variable block ‘Show variable (your sprite name)’. Add this variable block for each sprite.
Step 3: Connect Makey Makey
1. Plug Makey Makey into computer USB port.
2. Attach wires to the foil below each button
a. Black (Question mark) to Space.
b. Green (Check mark) to Click.
c. Blue (Triangle) to Left arrow.
d. Red (Circle) to Up arrow.
e. Yellow (Square) to Right arrow.
f. Grey to Earth.
Step 4: Use the Question of the Day
- Place computer, Makey Makey, and Question frame in an accessible location such as cafeteria or school lobby.
- Add a Title to the Question frame.
- Add Labels for each button.
- Decorate Question frame.