Makey Makey Logo

Makey Makey Interactive Room Challenge Lesson Plan

By Teacher Librarian Colleen Graves

Appropriate for grade levels ES-HS

Based on the Musical Room by TedXYouth@Austin, Hackidemia, and HS students. This lesson will guide you with step by step instructions for making your classroom or library into an interactive space designed by your students!

Lesson Objectives

  • Introduce or Reiterate the TMI Design process from Invent to Learn - Think Make Improve
  • Design and create an interactive space in the classroom or library
  • Engage students in innovation and creation
  • Entice students to create with technology rather than just consume it
  • Teach key mapping software Soundplant or coding keys with Scratch

Lesson Materials

  • Makey Makey for each student or partner groups
  • Alligator Clips
  • Tinfoil
  • Copper Tape
  • Playdoh
  • Anything conductive the students want to use for their interactive idea
  • Key mapping software Soundplant (Use Vocaroo or Audacity to record sounds) or have students create sounds and map keys with Scratch (but students will need accounts and might be tempted to play games.)
  • Prepared Telephone wires
Step1.jpg Step2.jpg Step3.jpg
1. Clip jack 2. Carefully cut outer casing 3. Don't cut colorful wires
Step4.jpg Step5.jpg Step6better.jpg
4. Pull off the outer casing 5. Each wire has two usable wires twisted together. 6. Use Wire stripper to expose copper
Step7.jpg Step8.jpg Step9.jpg
7. Twist ends 8. Push into Makey Makey 9. Or wrap and twist

Lesson Steps

DAY 1: Inspire

Inspire students with this video by Hackidemia and TedXYouth@Austin. Also show them Lamar Library's Musical Column, High Five Station, Musical Drawing, and Talking Book Drop.

1. Have students plan and design the interactive sections for your room. Brainstorm ideas and have students decide if they want the room to have musical aspects, sound effects, or a mixture of both.

2. Make sure you brainstorm ideas as a group so students can piggyback off one another's ideas. Also, a student might want to attempt an idea heard from another.

3. If using the key mapping software called Soundplant, have students view this tutorial to see how easy it is to connect student mp3s to specific keys on the computer.

  • Choose keys and upload wav files or drag and drop wav files to desired keys.
  • Connect ports on Makey Makey to match keys programmed with Soundplant.

3. (Cont.) Alternatively, students can map keys by coding keys in Scratch. It's really easy. Just program the keys by recording sounds directly into Scratch or upload the sound you would like to use.


4. Connect Wires to interactive spaces designed by students

5. Have students decide if they want to create a ground (Foil hand pictured below) or make a switch.

DAY 2: Begin the interactive room transformation.

  1. Give students time to create sound effects with Soundplant or Scratch.
  2. Hook Makey Makey ports (the keys your students programmed) to the interactive objects in the room.
  3. Create signs if needed to prompt interaction.

(Note: You can use one Makey Makey for multiple projects in one area. My "Interactive Column", "High Five Station", and "Book Drop Switch" all run off of one Makey Makey.)

DAY 3: Invite others to enjoy your room transformation! Then get some feedback.

Basic How to's for Rookies

How to create a switch

  • To make a switch, you just have to attach an earth (ground) to one piece of foil and your key with desired sound to another piece of foil. Then place something in between (paper, bubble wrap,etc) to keep the two sides from completing the circuit.
  • In this example, a book presses the switch to trigger the sound from Soundplant.
  • In this example, a balloon triggers the switch. (The switch is an aluminum face that the student dubbed, "Your mean boss!")

How to make a high five station

A high five station is created similarly to a switch. You just need one area attached to earth and another attached to the key with desired sound.

How to make an interactive sound space with Scratch

  • Under "Events" drag a "When Space pressed" block to coding area
  • Under "Sound" drag a "Play Sound Meow" to the "When key pressed" block in the coding area
  • Click the black drop down arrow next to 'Meow' and click 'record'
  • Record sound and change script in coding

Recording sounds for Interactive Challenge! #scratch #coding #Makeymakey

A video posted by Mrs. Graves The Librarian (@makerteacherlibrarian) on

How to make an interactive drawing

Graphite is conductive! So that means you can make a pencil drawing and connect Makey Makey to different sections of your drawing. (But remember that your drawings can't connect or you'll short your circuit.


Poetry Month

Program your room to be an immersive poetry experience for the month of April.

Dot Day

Have Elementary students create interactive dots for International Dot Day. Students can make dots and program Makey Makey to pencil drawings with a recording of "how students will make their mark" that plays when another student interacts with each dot.


Display books and create a switch on the book to do a book talk for students.

World Read Aloud Day

Have students read aloud their favorite sections of books and find a way to incorporate the recording and Makey Makey in their own way.


Celebrate diversity by displaying artifacts from different cultures for students to interact with.

What would you do? Tweet ideas to @gravescolleen and @TheJoyLabz with #makeymakeyinteractive


Note on Standards

These lessons were developed with the idea that teachers all over the globe and a variety of grade levels could hack the lesson plan to meet their students' needs. Therefore, these are just some of the standards the lessons are based on, and not an all-inclusive list. Many of the CCSS align by grade level, so if you teach 9th grade, you could find the stair-stepped standard for CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.8.6 by looking at CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.9-10.6.

Design Thinking Principles

This lesson introduces design thinking principles for a school mindset, for more info on design thinking go to Stanford or go for a crash course with Read another take on the design process from Science

Common Core

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RST.6-8.3: Follow precisely a multistep procedure when carrying out experiments, taking measurements, or performing technical tasks.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RST.9-10.8: Assess the extent to which the reasoning and evidence in a text support the author's claim or a recommendation for solving a scientific or technical problem.


MS-ETS1-1: Define the criteria and constraints of a design problem with sufficient precision to ensure a successful solution, taking into account relevant scientific principles and potential impacts on people and the natural environment that may limit possible solutions.

MS-ETS1-2: Evaluate competing design solutions using a systematic process to determine how well they meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.

HS-PS3-3: Design, build, and refine a device that works within given constraints to convert one form of energy into another form of energy.

Ever played Mario on Play-Doh or Piano on Bananas? Alligator clip the Internet to Your World.

Buy... Classic Ships Now!

Buy... Makey Makey GO!

Get Awesome Updates!

Subscribe to our mailing list

"four-year-old daughter has managed to connect the kit" ~BBC
"Rejoice!" ~Mashable
"by far the coolest Kickstarter project" ~Kotaku
"turns the whole world into a keybaord" ~Engadget
"a lot of enthusiasm and love" ~Wired
"crazy, inventive experiments" ~PC World
"We love a good diy project" ~LIfehacker
"So small, so quirky, so simple, so awesome." ~Contiki
"Mind explosion in progress." ~Indie Cookie
"turns your alphabet soup into a keyboard" ~New Scientist
"Edison meets OK Go" ~Cool Material

New Retail Box with Collector's Tin

Order Now

Preorder Makey Makey today
Order Your Kit
Includes Makey Makey, USB Cable, 7 Alligator Clips, 6 Connector Wires, 20 Stickers, and Graphic Instructions