MaKey MaKey Map

Help students discover how to make a typical paper wall map come to life through coding and voice recording!


5-6 Makey Makey Classic, Paper Map, Copper Tape

Step 1: Part 1: Research

Goal: Students understand what a geographic feature is and what important geographic features are found around the world.

  1. Divide students up into 5-6 groups (depending on the continents your curriculum covers).
  2. Assign each group a specific continent to research. Groups should research and find 3-5 specific geographic features within their continent along with facts about each of them. (For VA standards, students had to know specific continents and features. Students were given these specifically when assigned their continent.)
  3. Once the students have found several facts about their geographic features, they created a script for themselves to read to tell others about what they learned.

Educator Tip:

This step can be done in Scratch, however my students had difficulty with the clarity of the sound when recording through Scratch.

Step 2: Part 2: Recording With Online Voice Recorder

Then, students open up a voice recorder (mine used a free one found on google), and record their script. Have students save this file to the computer.

Step 3: Part 3: Scratch

Goal: The students will be able to code MaKey MaKey using block coding.

  1. Students will then open up Scratch and “Create” a new project.
  2. Using the “Add an Extension” button, add the MaKey MaKey extension.
  3. Drop in “When ____ Key is Pressed” block. Then choose up, down, left, right, or space.
  4. Then choose “Sound” and drop in the “Play Sound _______ Until Done”.
  5. Next, have students go to sounds and add a new sound. From there, they will upload the sound recorded previously and downloaded to the computer. Once they have done this, go back to the code screen and change the sound from the default “Meow” to the recorded sound.

Step 4: Part 4: Make the Map

Goal: The students will be able to connect cords to make MaKey MaKey board react to algorithm.

  1. Using a large wall map (purchased from Amazon and laminated), have students take a sharpie and mark each of the geographic features by making a small dot on the map.
  2. TEACHER: Using an exacto knife, cut out a 1-2 cm square where the dot is placed, making sure there is a large enough space to make contact with the copper tape.
  3. Using copper tape, cut strips of 1 ½ - 2 inches. Fold over one end to create a “tab” for the alligator clip to be attached to.
  4. Lay the piece of copper tape on the back of the map over one of the squares that you cut previously (sticky side towards the back. Attached the alligator clip on the tab, and using packing tape attach it to the map.*
  5. Then, attach the other end of the alligator clip to the corresponding button on the MaKey MaKey.**
  6. Repeat 3-5 for each geographic feature.
  7. Take an additional alligator clip and attach it to “Earth”. This will be used to activate each continents features.

Educator Tip:

*Make sure that the pieces of copper tape do not touch one another. This may cause them to react simultaneously.

**I recommend that you do one continent per MaKey MaKey, and attach the clips to the map one continent at a time to avoid confusion.

Step 5: Part 5: Make It Work!

  1. Using one computer per MaKey MaKey, hook up the USB cord to the corresponding computer.
  2. Hang the map on a sturdy bulletin board/cork board strips.*
  3. Using the name of the continent or an outline of the continent, attach copper tape (similar to how you did the geographic features) and attach “Earth” alligator clip to this.
  4. Place one finger on the continent “Earth” and the other on a feature on that continent and watch it work!

Educator Tip:

Our class used paper cups to stabilize the MaKey MaKey boards and alligator clips from the weight. See pictures for example.



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