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Activity Overview

Common circuit symbols exist as a near universal language in electrical engineering and can save a lot of confusion. Having standard circuit symbols allows circuit diagrams to be drawn and understood around the world. In this activity, they will create a storyboard that matches each component of an electrical circuit with their symbol and use. This is a great way to introduce students to the symbols they'll need to master and draw when designing circuits.

Circuit Component Symbols Example

Wire Wires are used to connect different components together. They are made of metal and allow current to flow through them.
Battery A battery provides the push to move the charge around the circuit.
Resistor A resistor is a component that reduces the current in a circuit.
Variable Resistor A variable resistor is a resistor which can have its resistance changed.
Lamp A lamp is a component with a filament that glows when a current is passed through it. Lamps can be used to see things in the dark.
Switch A switch is a component that can break the circuit allowing other components to be turned on and off. A light switch is an example of a switch.
Voltmeter A voltmeter is used to measure the potential difference or amount of push between two parts in a circuit.
Ammeter An ammeter is used to measure the size of a current in a circuit.
Motor A motor spins when it is connected to a circuit. It could be used to make a toy car move.

Lesson Plan Reference

Grade Level 4-5

Difficulty Level 3 (Developing to Mastery)

Type of Assignment Individual or Group

Template and Class Instructions

(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Use This Assignment With My Students", update the instructions on the Edit Tab of the assignment.)

Student Instructions

Create a T-Chart that matches components of an electrical circuit with their symbols and uses.

  1. Click "Start Assignment".
  2. Find the circuit symbols by searching "circuits" or "science".
  3. Put each of the circuit symbols in the cells on the left.
  4. Identify each symbol by replacing "TERM".
  5. In the right hand column, create a visualization and write a sentence to describe what the component can be used for.
  6. Save and submit your storyboard.


(You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)

Circuit Components
Create a T-Chart that matches components of an electrical circuit with their symbols and uses.
33 Points
25 Points
17 Points
Description of uses
All the circuit components have well described uses with few grammar and spelling mistakes.
Most of the circuit symbols have well described uses with some spelling and grammar mistakes.
Some of the circuit symbols have well described uses with some spelling and grammar mistakes.
Circuit Symbols
All circuit symbols correctly identified.
Most circuit components correctly identified.
Some symbols correctly identified.
Evidence of Effort
Work is well written and carefully thought out.
Work shows some evidence of effort.
Work shows little evidence of any effort.

More Storyboard That Activities for

Electrical Circuits

Image Attributions
  • battery • Razor512 • License Attribution (
  • Bulb • rivalslayer • License Attribution (
  • Carbon Composition Resistor • nao904 • License Attribution (
  • Current Indicator • Robbie1 • License Attribution (
  • insulator • tuba_squad • License Attribution (
  • Motor • Podknox • License Attribution (
  • PUSH • Steve Snodgrass • License Attribution (
  • Radio • EgoAnt • License Attribution (
  • Switch • lamdogjunkie • License Attribution (

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