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Introduction to Coding

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Keywords: Robotics, STEM, Creative Thinking, Memories
Subject(s): Robotics, Science, Physics
Grades 5 through 8
NETS-S Standard:
  • Creativity and Innovation
  • Communication and Collaboration
  • Research and Information Fluency
  • Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making
  • Digital Citizenship
  • Technology Operations and Concepts
View Full Text of Standards
School: Booth Elementary School, Enfield, IL
Planned By: Gena Johnson
Original Author: Gena Johnson, Enfield
Students will get their feet wet with the coding process and learn some of the basics of the world of coding.
Students will be able to explore coding and robotics with hands on activities.

Opening Activities/Motivation:

I will introduce the topic of coding by showing students the program called SCRATCH through my interactive TV.
I will allow the students to look at the cubelets and explore how the work after the coding basics has been covered.

Students will take notes about coding through my lecture and the SCRATCH Online Application.
Students will research different coding terms on their chromebooks and will make a coding journal cheat sheet just in case them for what terms to use or how they need to use the cubelets to build their own robot.Then students will be paired up in twos and perform a introduction to coding with Building Blocks. The students will put a binder in between themselves and they will each get eight building blocks. The students must talk and use coding words in order to tell each other how to build a tower that looks the same by using the detailed directions like you must do with coding.

After they have accomplished the tower, the students will remain in pairs and explore options on how to make a maze that a cube let robot could get out of with detailed directions from the students. The students may look online for instructions and demonstrations on how to build a maze or they may use an books from the classroom. The students will need to build their maze using a set budget of 50 dollars with the various materials such as cardbard, pipe cleaners and etc. costing various amounts.

Formative Assessment: Teacher Observations and Notes


At the end, the student group pairs will set up their maze and show how they made their cubelet robot go from start to finish to the rest of the class. Students will be able to use the classroom camera and / or video camera in order to make a video of their robot going through the maze and take pictures to make a collage about the process. The groups may also take pictures of the process that they using in order to build their maze and their robot.

Coding is a new concept for me to be teaching since this will only be my second year teaching middle school science. I am very excited about the hands on opportunities that I hope my students will get to enjoy.
Cross-Curriculum Ideas
Students could write a How-To paper in their English class.
Students could come up with a budget for building their maze in their Math Class
Students will make a graph of maze costs by collecting data from each of the groups in the class.
Students will use code-a-piller and try to code the educational manipulative in order to get from their classroom seat and out of the classroom door.
Links: Link to code.org
Materials: Video Cameras, Digital Cameras, Point and Shoot, Calculators, Middle School, Scientific, Camera/Video Accessories, Camera Bags, Flash/USB Drives, Memory Cards, CDs and DVDs, Cables, Science, Middle
Other Items: 1 Cubelets Six Kit Robotics, $159 each, total of $159.00