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Rockin Robotics


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Keywords: Poetry, Music, Technology, Robotics, Math, Geometry, Engineering
Subject(s): Art, Video, Technology, Geometry, Music, Reading, Math, English/Language Arts
Grades K through 5
NETS-S Standard:
  • Creativity and Innovation
  • Communication and Collaboration
  • Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making
  • Technology Operations and Concepts
View Full Text of Standards
School: Cleveland Elementary School, Cleveland, NC
Planned By: Lynn Bradley
Original Author: Lynn Bradley, Cleveland

Lesson Objective

The students will be able to design, engineer, and program a robot to perform artistic dance movements to interpret the meaning of a poem.

Essential Questions

How can we analyze literary elements of a poem to find inspiration?
How can interpret poetry with movement?
How can we develop music that represents the emotions we experience in what has been read?
How could a robot be programmed to dance and draw to the music that we have created?

Session 1 - Introduction and First Reading

Ask students if they know what a poem is? Do they have a favorite poem? Do poems have to rhyme? Preview the illustrated book before reading, and have students predict and discuss what they think and feel the poem is about.
Read the poems. Discuss if predictions were close to the poem.

Session 2 – Second Reading and Movement

Before reading the poem, ask students to listen for words that suggest movement (leaping, flying, jumping, and bobbing). Ask students to demonstrate the movements. Discuss mental pictures (visualization). How can we create a robot that can move to what we visualize. Students can choose selected verses and play charades. Students will act out the different movements from each stanza.

Session 3 – Third Reading, Mental Pictures, and Music

Ask students close their eyes. Read the poem. Review discussion about mental pictures and ask students what mental pictures they saw as the poem was read. Read the poem again with the music playing. Ask students what mental pictures they saw. Did the music change their visualization? Did the music and poem work together or not? Students will use Garage band to create a musical composition that matches what they feel is the beat/rhythm of the poem.

Session 4 - Introduction to Cubelets and Movement

The students will explore the different Cubelets and how putting them together creates different actions. The students will work collaboratively with the Cubelets to begin building movement that could be used to interpret their poem.

Session 5-9 - Brainstorming and Choreography
Brainstorm with students. What movements fit the images and meaning of the poem? How can we create a robot with the Cubelets that moves and draws to the music that was created in Garageband? Students will take the next four sessions to design a Cubelet that has an attachment that will enable the bot to draw. The students will also interpret their poem with movements that they design with placing the Cubelets together. The students will have four sessions, to design, engineer, and test their robot designs. The students will record their learning and research processes in their writing journal.

Session 10 - Student Presentations

The students will demonstrate their learning through the presentation of their robot designs. The students will complete a peer assessment during each presentation. They will also reflect on their learning at the end of all presentations.


Upper Elementary 3-5

I Wish I Could Dine With A Porcupine
Poem; Walking My Iguana
Brian Moses

The Monster Sale
Poem: Walking to the Beat of A Drum
Brian Moses

Hear the sound of your feet as you walk down the street when you travel to the beat of a drum. Hear a guitar strum hear machinery thrum when you travel to the beat of a drum. Hear fingers start snapping hear toes tip-tapping, hear a city’s heartbeat through the summer heat when you travel to the beat of a drum. Hear the sound of a flute, hear the rooty-toot-toot, hear the pad of a cat, hear the people chit chat, hear the slap of a shoe, hear the noise that is you when you travel to the beat of a drum. Hear the sound of your feet as you walk down the street when you travel to the beat of a drum. Hear a guitar strum hear machinery thrum when you travel to the beat of a drum. Hear fingers start snapping hear toes tip-tapping, hear a city’s heartbeat through the summer heat when you travel to the beat of a drum. Hear the sound of a flute, hear the rooty-toot-toot, hear the pad of a cat, hear the people chit chat, hear the slap of a shoe, hear the noise that is you when you travel to the beat of a drum.
Follow-Up
Geometry Study of Area and Perimeter
Reflective Writing Process of Learning
Materials: Elementary, Art Tools, Video Tools, Flash/USB Drives, Pro Composition, Early Composition, Sound Libraries, Integrating Technology
Other Items: 5 Cubelets Robot 12 Packs, $339.00 each, total of $1695.00
5 Crayola Markers, $3.50 each, total of $17.50
5 Posterboard, $1.00 each, total of $5.00