Unplugged Activities

Unplugged Activities

  • Introduce students to the language of programming & coding (Algorithm, Testing, Debugging etc.)
  • Introduce students to the value of programming & coding in our world today
Guiding Questions
  • Do you have a computer? iPad? Cell Phone? Drive in a Car?
  • How do you think they work?
Follow-up Questions
  • Did you see any items in the video that you use at home?
  • Computers can not do anything without humans providing instructions (or programming/coding)
  • Every one of those items in the video were programmed to work
  • We are going to learn a little more about coding
Today we are going to start talking about Algorithms.
Minds’ On: Sequencing
  • Tell your teacher how to draw a smiley face
  • Try to draw a smiley face on the board based on their instructions.
  • What other examples are there where we need to follow a list of steps to finish a task? (Recipies, Directions, etc.)
Action
  • Introduce Dash (the Robot) and explain that we need to give him very explicit instructions to help him move.  You can turn the Robot on – he will make noises and move a bit.
  • Show them the Movement Cards (about 2 of each movement). Help them read the cards. I used the cards from LittleCodr, but you can create you own simple arrows.
  • Lay out a felt grid (4×4 or 6×6). Put the robot on one square and an object on another.
  • Explain that down the road, we will use a computer (iPad) to program the robot, but first we need to practice our Algorithms.
  • Ask the students to give you the steps for moving the Robot through the maze.
  • Test their steps.
  • If they make a mistake, discuss how it’s important to test and then we “debug” the code (or instructions).
  • Ask them if they can complete the tasks with fewer steps (this is called efficiency).
  • Increase the size of the grid and try again.
Consolidation
Additional Resources
Lesson: Happy Maps