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Makey Makey
Interactive Poster

Years 3-4

Add a Makey Makey to a poster/model or diorama. The Makey Makey combined with will enable students to record a voiceover for the poster to add extra information and create an interactive project. This can be applied to any subject area. The target group is Years 3-4, but as not all students have been exposed to coding and physical computing it could be used with secondary students.

This lesson idea was created by Meridith Ebbs.



Download a summary of this lesson idea here , which includes teacher/student instructions, space for results and also investigation evaluation prompts.


  • Makey Makey
  • Cardboard poster, Model or Diorama
  • Research
  • Written scripts with information to be recorded for interactive project
  • Split pins
  • Computer with browser with Flash functionality (not an ipad)
  • Scratch logins - Educator Account will be needed for students under 13 or CS First or students can create their own account.
    For ease, particularly with younger students, it may be easier for teachers to create a class set of logins to distribute to students.
  • Sharp 2B Pencil
  • Pen, textas, pencils
  • Camera to take pictures of finished structure (and during building process)

Prior Student Learning


Research topic area and create a poster or model for concept. Identify key areas of the poster to add interactive points. eg: Research the lifecycle of a tomato and create a poster to illustrate their understanding. Grow a tomato plant in the classroom.


Write a script with additional information to enhance the poster/model, the script will be used for the recording the information.

Digital Technologies:

Be familiar with the parts of a Makey Makey. Students should be given time to explore how the circuit works and conductivity of the points, prior to the adding it to a poster. The Makey Makey site has a visual procedure for setting up a Makey Makey.


A still life drawing lesson using tomatoes prior to creating the poster on the life cycle of a tomato could enhance the quality of drawings on the poster.

Learning hook

  1. Students have created a poster (or model). It is to be an interactive poster on the topic of the tomato life cycle.
  2. Students are asked to research the life cycle of a tomato and different factors that may influence the successful growth of plant and bearing fruit. eg: water, soil, sun, too much or too little of each, being planted in the wrong position, changes in the environment both natural and man-made.

Learning map and outcomes

  • Students conduct research to identify how different elements both natural and man made forces impact on the life cycle of a tomato
  • Students write a plan and compose a script based on their research.
  • Students connect the Makey Makey to create a working circuit with conductive points on the poster.
  • Students work together to record their scripts in to provide additional support information to their research.
  • Students work in teams to design their visual program using a scratch.
  • Students work in teams to ensure their system works when the user touches the split pins on the poster.
  • Students can debug their hardware and software to create a working system.

Learning input

The teacher models how to create a series of blocks (algorithm) in on the board. Teacher models how to connect one point on the Makey Makey to the split pin on the poster. The teacher demonstrates how to make the program operate.

If students have not used the Makey Makey before you will need to allow time to demonstrate/explore how the Makey Makey works and the significance of the neutral or earth connection.

The recorded scripts should include information about how the lifecycle could be interrupted by both natural and man made interventions eg: lack of water, sun, poor soil, human land use, predators.

The teacher introduces and uses new language: “algorithm” and “debugging/debug”, “circuit”, “interactive point”.

Teacher discretion/Differentiation

Depending on the experience of your class the teacher may offer an opportunity for students to solve the problems themselves prior to demonstration. The teacher may choose to only demonstrate one point and ask students to create the rest without assistance. This could be differentiated so lower students have visual support of the graphic below but more capable students do not.

Learning construction

Learners now work in teams, to construct their own series of blocks (algorithm) and a recording using their script. Once the recording is working in they can then work together to connect the Makey Makey. Teams are given the opportunity to create additional interactive points using the split pins and scratch, by recording their voices and connecting the Makey Makey.

Learning demo

Once all teams have had a chance to test and debug their algorithm, teams are given a chance to demonstrate their learning to the class, or another team. Peers are to be critical friends and to help provide feedback.

Learning reflection

Students are given a chance to think about and describe what happened in their scratch programming and to talk about what they learned and how they might change or extend their algorithm for next time.