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Spelling Rules

Using spellings of familiar words this Barefoot Computing unplugged computing activity for younger primary children introduces algorithms as rules that are followed, and which may require decisions and exceptions. From the Barefoot Computing project, this short lesson asks children to deduce spelling rules uses...

Modelling the Internet Activity

Suitable for upper-primary teachers of computing, this Barefoot Computing activity focuses on the technical aspects of the internet explaining how it differs from the World Wide Web (WWW). Children gain an understanding of the hardware that makes up computer networks and how IP addresses allow communication between...

Patterns Unplugged Activity

This short unplugged activity, away from computers, introduces pattern recognition using familiar objects. Children are asked to analyse groups of objects (cats, cars and so on) to identify features common to all of them. Exceptions to the 'rules' are discussed, and parallels with writing computer programs are...

Classroom Sound Monitor

This cross curricular activity includes science content from Year Four of the primary curriculum. It introduces programming and control, linked to the outside world through sensors - in this case, the computer's built-in microphone or a peripheral microphone. Programs are written using Scratch (online or offline)...

Bug in the water cycle

A set of simple scratch ‘debugging’ activities that children can use to apply their understanding of programs and codes.  Children are shown a series of faulty programs which are based around the water cycle.  They are then supported to use logical reasoning to locate and fix the bugs within them.  Notes for...

Computational Thinking

This 'concept card' from the Barefoot collection explains 'computational thinking': *What it is *Why it is important *What it looks like in the primary curriculum *How to find out more It supports teacher understanding to improve their teaching of the Barefoot activities.

Bee-Bots 1,2,3 Programming Activity

This activity for younger children introduces algorithms and algorithmic thinking. After first planning how to draw numbers using the simple commands available, children then program a BeeBot to create the shapes (BeeBots are a type of simple programmable rover). By watching and feeding back on each other's efforts...

Shapes and Crystal Flowers Activity

A cross-curricular programming activity, using loops in Scratch to draw patterns. Learners first design an algorithm to draw a simple 2D shape, and then use the 'repeat' block to generate artwork. It is advised that children have some prior experience of programming in Scratch. Experimentation and debugging is...

Patterns Unplugged: Reusing Recipes Activity

This 'unplugged' activity introduces pattern recognition and the idea that algorithms can be repurposed. Cooking recipes are analysed to find parts that are common to more than one. Reusable parts are then borrowed to create new recipes which the children share with the class. Additional teacher guidance is given,...

Variables Unplugged

This activity away from the computer is from the Barefoot Computing project. It is intended to provide a theoretical understanding of why and how variables are used in computer programming, using the example of score-keeping in a classroom quiz. Involving several volunteers from the group, the activity uses...

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