5 activities to try out something new with coding
Publication date: December 20, 2019
1. Organise a blinded catch game
By Catarina, Code Week teacher in Portugal
In order to work on the special orientation of my students, we organized a big blinded catch game in our gymnasium. My students felt really engaged with the activity and even proposed several different levels of complexity of the same objective. They even made me promise we would have more classes like this one!
First, we draw a grid on the ground and find an object the students have to catch. Then we designate one, or two, students who will play the robot. The “robot” is blindfolded and follows the “commands” from the “programmer”, which is another student, in order to reach for the target (in our case, a disc).
Each instruction/command (left, right, front, backwards) equals a step in the desired direction. The winning team is the one that reaches the target (disc) first.
Afterwards, you just play with different variations of it, and you can also add obstacles and increase the difficulty by moving the target (disc) just before any team reaches it, forcing the “programmer” to re-adjust the commands/instructions.
2. Try out pre-reading activities using Bee-Bots
By Sandra, Code Week teacher in Portugal
As I wanted to develop a nice activity for my pupils to discover reading, I thought of working with the story “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” along with some Bee-Bots. As the story develops the Bee-bot moves on a grid and “eats” the same items as the Caterpillar in the story.
My pupils were very enthusiastic about this activity and also very loud! They tried over and over again to match the story on the grid. Even though the results were not very satisfying, they enjoyed the activity and already got the first contact with both computational thinking and reading.
3. Attend a technology festival with your pupils
By Gülcan, Code Week Teacher in Turkey
I went with my students to a technology festival called Teknofest. During that festival, they got to discover some technological innovations, participate in workshops and, most importantly, try out various activities and ask a lot of questions. They were very curious and wanted to know more about how machines and robots work.
Teknofest Istanbul is a technology festival in September where all educated students participate in competitions and exhibit their products. It is one of the most important technology competitions of the aviation, space and technology festival.
4. Create a living space on the Moon with Lego WeDo
By Fatma, Code Week Teacher in Turkey
Our school is a small elementary school and the kids are very interested in science, coding, technology. My students and I love to do projects, like this activity which is part of the Lego we do set.
The idea was to create a living space on the Moon for the junior Mission Moon theme. Therefore, my students developed a device that’s looking for water on the moon. They assembled the pieces, and wrote and operated their own codes.
5. Organize an Hour of Code activity
By Paula, Code Week teacher in Portugal
I have heard about the Hour of Code initiative and thought it would be nice to bring that to my classroom in Sintra. Thanks to this program they learned how to do some block-based coding and they were very happy seeing the results and also proud to show it to their classmates.
For some of the students, this project was quite challenging but they resolved the problems by themselves working in a group and using a trial and error method.