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Sewing Circuits


  • Project TitleSewing Circuits
  • ThemeElectronics, Science & Craft
  • Submitted By (Teacher Name)Jennifer Leonard
  • OrganizationThe Skills Library
  • Brief Description and RationaleParticipants use fabric, metal conductive thread, LEDs and batteries to create a wearable circuit. This is a fun after-school program activity that reinforces participant understanding of how to build a simple circuit.
  • Grade LevelMulti-grade
  • Materials / ResourcesStainless steel thread
    LED lights with built-in resistors
    Button batteries
    Needles, fabric, cardboard
  • Duration of lesson2-hour summer program session
  • Key Vocabulary/Word WallCircuit
    Energy Source

Lesson Outline | In previous sessions, students have done other sewing projects.

  • Anticipatory set or lesson opening (to activate student prior learning or draw student interest or involvement)In previous sessions, students have done other sewing projects.
  • Direct InstructionParticipants see a completed example and a posterboard with instructions. The posterboard notes that they will be able to bring their completed project home.
  • Guided PracticeProgram leader(s) provide coaching while particpants choose a fabric, gather materials and start sewing.
  • Independent Practice/Differentiated ActivitiesParticpants create a wristband (recommended first project) and may also create other wearable electronics.
  • Lesson ClosureParticipants bring home their completed project.

Recommended Strategies / Instructional Techniques

  • Reading StrategiesUse chalkboard and posterboard

Activity Sheets

  • Sketch of circuit

    This wristband has a working LED light sewn into the fabric.  When you connect the metal clasps, the light turns on.  When you open the metal clasps, the light turns off.  This is similar to many circuits that you have created using various electronics kits, but uses metal thread sewn into fabric as the conducting wires.  

    Here is a rough sketch of the circuit.  The gray lines show the metal thread that connects the parts of the circuit.  The picture shows the thread as a line, but you can actually use any stitches you want to create an interesting pattern, as long as the stitches connect from one LED wire to one side of the battery, the other side of the battery to one part of the clasp, and the other part of the clasp back to the other LED connector wire.  (Which sides?  You'll want the positive side of the battery to flow to the positive side of the LED.... experiment or ask to find out which is which.


Subject = Science, Arts | Grade Level = Elem, MS | Time Period = Summer Program | Program/Funding = | NONE |
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