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Language and Communication use switches to turn something on or off  This resource has been viewed by a moderator.


To know that certain actions produce predictable results, for example, using a switch to activate a tape recorder.

Early years skill:Technology
Early years typical range:8-20m
P-scales/Nat. Curriculum skill:ICT
P-scales/Nat. Curriculum level:P4
TAP skill:Physical Skills
TAP level:TAP24
Section:Early Years (0-5yrs) info; Primary (5-11yrs) info; Secondary (11-16yrs) info; Post School Education info; Adult info
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Activity/strategy name and materials required How to do the activity Key principles for doing the activity and comments
Keeping cool: learning to sustain an action

Fan, (with optional ribbons attached)

Mains switch control box

Configure the controller so that the fan is on as long as the switch is held down.

Hold down the switch and let the child feel the breeze. Let them do the same.

The child should experience holding down the switch and feeling the breeze. On release the breeze stops.

State, "On" and "Off" as you and the child press and release the switch.

Learning to use a switch to turn a device on

Fan (as above)

As either of you press the switch say, "on." When it stops say "off." Show them the effect of the breeze, blowing your hair or rubbing your arms because it is cold.

Switching a device on and off

(Do this in a subsequent session after the child has understood the process in the above activity).

A device to control, for example:



computer monitor

bubble machine

Let the child turn the fan on and off modelling the vocabulary as you go.

Reinforce this learning with different devices at different times and places.


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