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Crazy Character Algorithms Activity: an Introduction to Sequences of Instructions

Children in lower primary settings can create their first algorithm using this Barefoot Computing unplugged computing activity. A picture of a 'crazy character' is decomposed into simple shapes. The instructions for drawing it are shared with the class who follow and attempt to reconstruct the picture. This...

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...

Solar System Simulation Activity

This activity introduces children to simulations - modelling or acting out real-world, or maybe imaginary, situations. Linking to the teaching of space, it asks what factors need to be considered when simulating the solar system. Out of these, the children then decide what the most important things to include in...

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,...

Make a Game Project

In this multi-lesson project pupils design and code a computer game. It uses a rainforest theme but can be adapted to any topic, with learners of varying age or ability. The project includes: *Decomposition of the elements of a game *Designing the game *Creating assets for the game, such as background images and...

Logical Number Reasoning Activity

This activity combines computing and maths to look at algorithms. Children are challenged to solve missing number problems in number sequences, using logical reasoning. Additional challenges are then presented, and children are asked to share not just the answer, but the approach they took to solving the problem...

Kodu Tinkering

This activity introduces children to the Kodu games programming environment through tinkering. They are asked to experiment with an existing game code, and also to start from a blank screen.

Guided questioning is used to ensure the tinkering is purposeful. The children are asked to share what they...

Kodu Game Selection Activity

This lengthier activity involves designing and creating a simple computer game using the free Microsoft Kodu platform. It is expected that the children will have some prior experience of Kodu, or that a basic tutorial is offered before commencing this activity. Worksheets are provided that help children through the...

Investigating Outputs

This activity helps children learn about computer systems and output devices. It relates these systems to those they encounter everyday, from headphones to printers and washing machine motors. They understand that programs make these devices function, and attempt a programming activity using Scratch and Lego WeDo....

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