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Goldilocks and the Burglar Alarm

Target Audience
Key Stage 2

Link to the National Curriculum

Sc4 Physical Processes (Electricity) Yr4
Pupils should be taught to:

  • construct a simple circuit, identifying and naming its basic parts, including cells,wires,bulbs, switches and buzzers


  • To enable children to construct a simple circuit involving a burglar alarm incorporating all the above skills related to a real situation albiet from the traditional tale of Goldilocks and the three bears.

Download worksheet

What you need

  • Shoe box,
  • electrical wire
  • bulbs/bulb holders
  • 2×1.5 volt cells
  • card and tin foil
  • screwdrivers
  • craft knife*

*Adults only to use craft knives

What you do

  • See the video clip on the website: www.practicalprimaryscience.co.uk
  • Lay the shoe box on its side, without its lid and make a hole in the centre of it to accommodate the bulb holder and bulb
  • Fix the two triangular pieces of card in the grooves at the edge of the box…see video clip
  • Cut a small rectangulr piece of card, fold it in half and glue metal kitchen roll foil to one half to make the switch….see video clip
  • Make an electrical circuit from the bulb holder to run around the edge of the box to meet at the switch(folded card) to act as the front door mat.
  • Cut slits in the lid and fix to the roof…..see video clip

Group /Class organisation

  • Depending on the number of adult helpers and apparatus available will determine how many groups of three / four children will take part in this practical activity.
  • If limited help is available then other children not involved directly in the practical activity should be engaged in associated work with the topic e.g. write and alternative ending to the Goldilocks story
  • Children should also be given work sheets to record how they set about making the goldilocks burglar alarm…..this would be an ideal opportunity to relate it to an art/craft design activity with the children making the set for the house….furniture etc

How it works

  • It works on the simple understanding an electrical circuit well within the compass of children of this age and at the same time gives greater understanding from the practical application

Preliminary Activities

  • Read the story of the Three Bears and discuss ways of stopping Goldilocks from breaking into the house!

Follow up work

  • Look for further ways for the children to use simple electrical circuits to real situations or from stories to bring their learning alive….. make a model of “The Iron Man” , complete with flashing eyes from the novel by Ted Hughes.

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