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Invention Literacy Foundations: Doll-E Circuit Soundbites with the Sampler App

In this guide, you will be inspired to make your own creation after reading Doll-E 1.0. Then you'll create soundbites to add to your doll's database using our Makey Makey Sampler app. 

Literacy to Inspire Making

 In this guide, you will use a picture book to inspire your making! Read Doll-E 1.0, then dig through your pile of spare parts to create your own talking creation. After building, you'll create a soundbites in our Sampler App to increase your creation's database.

So the first step is to read Shanda McCloskey's Doll-E 1.0 book!


Create a Spare Part Invention

You’ll be creating a doll/robot/invention out of spare parts using conductive and non-conductive materials. (Non-conductive materials are an insulator) Now you have some design decisions. How do you want to program your creation? How do you want to trigger the creation's sound effect?

Did you know that your spare part invention could also be called a bricolage artwork? (It sounds like "brick-o-lazh.")


  1. a construction made of whatever materials are at hand; something created from a variety of available things.

You need to make sure you will have 4-5 conductive spots on your doll that are conductive that you can activate by touching or closing the switch. You can make your creation look like a robot, animal,  or whatever you'd like it to look like! 

You'll be attaching your Makey Makey to the conductive parts of your robot with alligator clips.

Or you could make a conductive paper circuit sidewalk for your doll/robot by putting conductive tape or foil on a cardboard. You could make multiple inputs this way similar to making a piano on cardboard. When you place your doll/robot on the track, the Sampler will be triggered. (Make sure the conductive spots will bridge the gap otherwise, it will not trigger Sampler)

You will give a voice to your invention by recording your own sound bites in the Makey Makey Sampler app. 


Write your database
In your inventor's notebook (or on the printable), write a list of sayings you would like to add to your doll's database. (The funnier the better!) 

Download this template for your students!

Doll E Template


Step Four

You can record your voice samples in our Sampler app and connect straight to Makey Makey for a plug and play experience! Make sure to read your sound bites with enthusiasm! 

Click on the microphone to record a soundbite. Make sure to allow access to your microphone.  Press and hold to record. (You have a limit of five seconds) Let go when you are done recording.


Press to test your sample, and click on the sound wave to trim.

Name your sample and save it to the library. (It will only be stored for this session, so if you like all your recordings and want to use them again. Make sure to export your sample pack once you have all your samples recorded and placed on the sampler. (Video tutorial) 

Place all your sound bites on the sampler where you want each Makey Makey input to play.

Then Export your sample pack.

Save the exported sample pack to your drive or Google Drive and then you can upload your sample pack when you are ready to plug it to your creation.



Hook up to Makey Makey

 Hook one alligator clip to the SPACE input on your Makey Makey and another alligator clip to an EARTH input on your Makey Makey.

Clip one alligator clip to one conductive spot on your doll/robot and the other alligator clip to the another conductive spot.

Create multiple activation points by adding more conductive spots on your creation and alligator clip to the arrow key inputs on Makey Makey

Play and Share!

Share your creation with your friends! How did they make theirs? What other way could you trigger your sound effects? Could you add more inputs? Keep playing and learning!


Time Investment
30-45 min
2nd- 8th grade 


  • Makey Makey
  • Bricolage
  • Sampler App
  • Printable



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