Using unplugged activities with your students is a great way to lay the groundwork for future programming work and activities. You can challenge your students with this fun activity called My Robotic Friends, which only requires paper cups, a couple of command cards and some brain power! This activity has been around for a while and I had forgotten how brilliant it was until I decided to use it again with a new group of students. There was certainly some head scratching, but everyone enjoyed the session and a lot of learning took place through discussion, trial and error and of course debugging! There is a complete lesson pack for you to download which will guide you through the session step by step, giving you the opportunity to discuss:
- a set of instructions is also called an algorithm
- if you miss an instruction or get them out of sequence what happens?
- why is it important to define a set of instructions or code for your robot?
- are they any other instructions you would add to the code library?
In regard to the last discussion point, when working with my students, we did add an instruction to tell the robot to move ‘half a cup’, which helped them to better understand and write their algorithm.
Download the complete lesson plan and resources from https://studio.code.org/s/coursec-2021/lessons/2
You will find the links to download everything you need at the top of the page and also links to other great programming activities.