Introduction: Regions of the United States Makey Makey Game
In this instructable students will build a game to reinforce their knowledge of the 5 regions of the United States and their knowledge of circuitry, using strategies of group collaboration. Students in the 5th grade in West Virginia study the regions of the United States. This game will also reinforce the shape of each state, it's relative location to the other states in the region, and the capitals of each state in the region.
SS.5.17Compare and contrast the various regions of the United States; locate each of the fifty United States and correlate them with their regions.
SS.5.19Display information on maps, globes, geographic models and in graphs, diagrams and charts (e.g., designing map keys and legends, etc.).
SS.5.18Identify the characteristics and purposes of maps, globes, geographic information systems and other geographic tools.
SS.5.14Explain how aspects of the terrain (e.g., the principal mountain ranges, rivers, vegetation and climate of the region, etc.) affected westward travel and settlement.
T.3-5.11Create original work through the use of age-appropriate technology and digital resources and tools.
T.3-5.12Demonstrate creativity and learning through technology (e.g., digital storytelling, portfolio creation, digital media displays, etc.).
T.3-5.13With support and guidance, select appropriate technology tools to solve problems and communicate information.
T.3-5.14With support and guidance, create a product using a step-by-step process through the use of age-appropriate digital and non-digital resources.
T.3-5.15Use appropriate technology to transfer learning to a variety of tools or learning environments.
T.3-5.1Explore a variety of age-appropriate technologies that can assist with the learning process.
T.3-5.7Collaborate with peers, teams, and individuals within their communities and home through the use of age-appropriate technology.
Makey Makey Kit for each region/ group of students
Scratch accounts - free coding site - scratch.mit.edu
Google color image of a region of the United States
Tape - duct, paper, or scotch
Cardboard box large enough to hold the Makey Makey Kit (You will be pasting the google image on the top of the box.) in order to hide the kit from the users.
paint, markers, stickers to add color and make the region game more attractive.
Step 1: Gathering Your Materials
Plan for some time to be used for students to find and crop a good color image of their region of the United States. If you do not want to include a mini lesson on how to do this I would suggest that you (depending on the grade/age of students) go ahead and print out copies for the students to choose.
Once you have a good color image of the region, attach it to the lid of the box. This could be done by first laminating the image and then glueing it to the top. If you do not have a laminating machine available use clear tape to secure and cover the image to maintain quality.
Step 2: Assembling Your Wires on the Makey Makey
Now it is time to begin assembly:
1. Identify the capital city with a red star and the name of the state will be a blue circle.
2. Attach paper fasteners through the box top, one for each capital and each state.
3. Begin attaching the wires using the alligator clips from the Makey makey to the paper fasteners.
4. Take notes on which color cooresponds to which capital or state name.
5. You will need to use the small white wires and the extra places on the back of the Makey Makey to include all of the capitals and states especially if the region is large.
6. Depending on the number of states and regions, you may have to add more wires to the Makey Makey.
7. Find something that is a conductor to connect to the earth wire, or simply hold the earth wire in your hand. This will be the pointer and complete the circuits allowing students to hear the names of the states and capitals
8. Cut a whole in the bottom of the box to allow the usb cord to be connected to the computer.
9. Use some tape and attach the Makey Makey board to the lid of the box. This will keep from putting pressure on the wire connections so they will stay attached.
Step 3: Learning to Code on Scratch
Go to the website scratch.mit.edu.
It is free so sign up for an account.
Watch the informational video on the site.
Students will use the play sound code (purple) to use their voice to record (dropdown menu beside meow) correct names for each state and capital in the region they have been assigned.
Students will choose events (gold) and program the same keys that the makey makey uses by changing the dropdown menu beside space.
Step 4: Attaching Map and Location of Paper Fasteners to Indicate States and Capitals on Top of Box
Once you are ready to put in the paper fasteners to locate the states and capitals, be sure to have students locate a map online that indicates where the states and capitals are located.
If your students are working in groups make sure each member of the group gets assigned a state and/or capital to use a paper fastener for location on the region map.
After attaching the paper fasteners, use the alligator clips from the makey makey to follow the code written on scratch as you connect the clips.
Step 5: Trial and Error
After all clips have been attached and the Makey Makey's usb cord has been plugged into a computer test your map.
Make sure you have the scratch code up and running for your region learning game.
Adjust clips as needed until the Makey Makey is doing what you want the program to do.