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ScratchJr Knock Knock Joke Activity

This Barefoot activity for young programmers exploits the sequencing and timing of joke-telling to help students learn good programming techniques. After planning an animation using a storyboard technique they then code it using the Scratch Jr app, and debug it. Tips for supporting the less able, as well as...

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...

Viking Raid

This paired-programming activity from the Barefoot Computing project focusses on sequences in algorithms and programs.

Children create an animation of a Viking raid – ideally they will have previously studied Vikings but this is not crucial. A Scratch file is provided for the children to build on, containing...

Decomposition Unplugged

This computing resource for primary schools introduces the concept of decomposition through dance. Using combinations of hand-jive, clapping or tutting, the lesson demonstrates how complex sequences of instructions (algorithms) can be broken down into smaller chunks. The children are challenged to look for patterns...

Beautiful Numbers

This lesson or enrichment activity investigates recursive algorithms using Fibonacci series.

It begins with an engaging maths magic trick ‘how to fake a super brain’ that uses a special property of Fibonacci numbers, and proceeds to look at the Golden Ratio in nature and its ‘beautiful’ properties.

...

Crazy Graphics

This workshop investigates how images are stored as data, and shows the difference that ‘bit depth’ makes to the quality of images and number of colours.

It begins by looking at paintings and how, using only paint, images were difficult to edit – however digital images are much easier. Pupils with access to...

Cryptography Workshop

This set of activities introduces children to cryptography techniques, showing how the use of computers can make encryption quicker and more effective. Some notable examples of the use of encryption in history are mentioned, leading to the use of calculation machines for code-making and code-breaking.

A...

Generating Art: Shape Calculator

This resource, intended for an extended workshop session, uses sequences of instructions for creating drawings as a basis for learning about algorithms. Following the activity (taken from the series CSUnplugged), an introductory look at Scratch explores the different parts of the program and would be suitable for...

Storytelling

This series of three lesson activities uses Scratch to create animations that tell a story, and can link to studies in English.

A starter Scratch file partially tells the story of the Great Fire of London. Additional resources are provided allowing children to improve the animation.

Using some short...

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...

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