Older Students Teach Younger With Makey Makey


Less than 1 hr

About: Currently the Lower School Science Specialist at St. Mark's School of Texas in Dallas. Hired to create a hands-on, minds-in, engaging science program for 1st - 4th grade students.

Using MakeyMakey and Scratch as a tool to help older students teach younger students


Makey Makey Classic, computer, Scratch account, copper tape, aluminum foil, card stock, construction paper, etc.

Step 1: Teach the Children Well

This activity challenges older students to develop learning games for younger student, then program in Scratch and and use a MakeyMakey to create an interactive game.

Educator Tip:

We've used this with 3 graders and older. It gets them to think about their own learning as they think about what a younger child knows and the best way for them to use a "video game".

Step 2: Figure Out a Game

Let's take 5th graders for example...ask them to go down to a 1st grade room and interview the students on what they are "learning in school". Have the 5th graders take notes from the conversations and what "academic" things they notice around the class. When they return, have them brainstorm ideas for games that could reinforce concepts or topics the 1st graders are learning.

Educator Tip:

As the teacher of the older kids, do your prep work in lining up with a younger grade teacher, when and how your students will do the interview.

Step 3: Plan Your Game

Next, have the students create a storyboard for their game...what will the welcome screen look like, where will the directions be (and are the age appropriate), what type of interaction will the younger students have with the game (one button to touch, two, more?). Figure out the "questions" you are going to use. For example, if it's math, is 1 + 1 to easy? Once your game is planned out, it's time to create.

Step 4: Program in Scratch

Have the student start programing in Scratch. They can ask a friend to "beta" test their game at various points to make sure everything works write. Once they are done, they should have a few people (including the teacher) test their game and give them feedback. Once all the bugs are out, it's time to attach the MakeyMakey and create the controller. The controller should be age appropriate and easy for the little ones to use.

Educator Tip:

Game controllers can be made of whatever supplies are available.

Step 5: Beta Test With the Target Group

Take the computer, MakeyMakey and the controller back to the 1st grade classroom and have a few kids play it and give the designer feedback...it's too easy, it's not fun, it's boring...make sure to ask them why? How could it be made more fun, interesting, harder, etc.

Step 6: TIme to Improve

Back in class, the designers have to make corrections and changes. Step 5 and 6 may happen a few times till the "game" is the way both the designer and the player want it.

Step 7: Do You Want to Play a Game?

Set up the games in the library or in the younger students classroom. Allow student to play the game.

Educator Tip:

You can also have a notepad next to the game and ask for feedback for future upgrades to the program.



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