Duration: 30-59 mins
Age range: 7-11
  • D&T
  • Science

Clever circuits

Making a circuit and drawing it using circuit symbols

This is one of a set of resources developed to support the teaching of the primary national curriculum. They are designed to support the delivery of key topics within science and design and technology. This resource focusses on the assembly of a simple series circuit and representing it using circuit symbols.

Circuit diagrams are used to draw circuits with circuit symbols. This provides many advantages over using pictures, such as making them easier to understand and saving time when drawing them.

Activity info, teachers' notes and curriculum links

In this activity learners will construct a series circuit using a battery, switch, resistor and an LED. They will learn about why symbols are used instead of pictures to represent components and produce a circuit diagram for the circuit that they have constructed.

This could be used as a one-off activity or as part of a wider unit of work focussing on electricity and electrical circuits. It can also be used in conjunction with the IET Faraday Primary Poster – Circuits and Symbols.

The activity sheet includes teachers' notes, useful web links, and links (where appropriate) to the national curriculum in each of the four devolved nations; England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

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All activity sheets and supporting resources are free to download, and all the documents are fully editable, so you can tailor them to your students' and your schools' needs.


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Clever circuits activity description, teachers' notes and curriculum links.


Teacher presentation outlining how to make a circuit and draw it using symbols.

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