Now you can teach the fundamentals of computer science, whether you have computers in your classroom or not! Each of these activities can either be used alone or with other computer science lessons on related concepts. In this lesson, students will relate the concept of algorithms back to real-life activities by playing the Dice Race picture minecraft. The goal here is to start building the skills to translate real-world situations to online scenarios and vice versa.
By «programming» one another to draw pictures, students will begin to understand what coding is really about. The class will begin by having students instruct each other to color squares on graph paper in an effort to reproduce an existing picture. If there’s time, the lesson can conclude with images that the students create themselves. The bridge from algorithms to programming can be a short one if students understand the difference between planning out a sequence and encoding that sequence into the appropriate language. This activity will help students gain experience reading and writing in shorthand code.
This extended unplugged lesson brings together teams with a simple task: get the «flurb» to the fruit. Students will practice writing precise instructions as they work to translate instructions into the symbols provided. If problems arise in the code, students should also work together to recognize bugs and build solutions. This lesson will help students realize that in order to give clear instructions, they need a common language. Students will practice controlling one another using a simple combination of hand gestures. Once they understand the language, they will begin to «program» one another by giving multiple instructions in advance.