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Canada Takes Flight

By Caitlin Davey 120 minutes
Grades 4-6
Science and Technology,
Social Sciences
  • Programming
  • Technology and Society
  • Design
Tools & Languages

Key Coding Concepts

  • Algorithms
  • Conditional Statements
  • Events
  • Loops
  • Parallel Execution
  • Random Numbers
  • Sequences
  • Variables


Conditional Statements

Making decisions based on conditions i.e. if some condition is met do something, else do nothing or something else



One thing causing another thing to happen i.e. ‘when clicked’ block



Running the same sequence multiple times i.e. repeat or forever blocks



Making things happen at the same time



Identifying a series of steps for a task. Computers and Scratch read and perform commands in order from top to bottom

In this lesson, learners will create a game that tells the story of Bill Boeing and Eddie Hubbard’s first international flight to deliver mail from Seattle to Vancouver, Canada. Learners will explore several Scratch techniques as they reflect on the history of flight technologies in Canada.

Before the lesson...

  • Review key coding concepts and ensure you are confident describing them to your group.
  • Review the example project
  • Watch this video about Bill Boeing and how a little Seattle company began to change the aeroplane industry through their innovations.
  • Review the four forces of flight: lift, weight, drag, and thrust.
  • Print the solution sheet.
  • Code the lesson’s main project, ensuring you are comfortable with all steps.



From canvas and wood to materials for space, Boeing has continued to invent and engineer ways to extend human abilities. Programming, engineering, and mechanics are all ways that we can extend our abilities and make the impossible possible.

The first international airmail was delivered by Boeing in a flight from Seattle to Canada in May 1919. Throughout the 1920s, Boeing played a significant role in expanding the airline industry through developing multiple airplane models including fighter planes, transports, and more.

After a hundred years of flight Boeing continues to innovate the aerospace industry. Boeing is now looking towards the sky to take people not only all across planet Earth but maybe to new planets as well!

Discover more at Boeing's History Page!

Code Along

  1. Open up a new Scratch project at and click on “create” (top, left corner).
  2. Point out the main elements: Stage, Sprites, and Scripts. Demonstrate how to drag and connect blocks.
  3. Give learners a few minutes to click on blocks and explore.
  4. Go through 1-2 challenges with the group, where learners are tasked with trying to make something happen in Scratch. For example, “Try to make Scratch move” or “Try to make Scratch say something when the space key is pressed” (See the Code-Along Challenges doc for more examples and solutions)


In this game, you’ll be on board with William Boeing and Eddie Hubbard on the flight to deliver the first international airmail.

Show the example project so learners know what they are working towards. Ask them what they see/hear - what is happening in this project?

Open the starter project and review the Sprites and backgrounds.

Have learners open the starter project on their screens and click "See Inside" or “Remix” (The remix button will only be visible once they are signed into their accounts.)

Use the solution sheet to guide learners through the following steps:

  1. Make the Plane Move
  2. Add Other Directions
  3. Collect Mail
  4. Wind/Gravity Effect
  5. Flying to Seattle
  6. Win Condition

Now you’re ready for takeoff! Give the game a whirl.

Learning Outcomes

I can create algorithms in Scratch
I can use conditionals to control what happens in my project
I can use loops to make things happen more than once
I can use events to control when things happen in my project

Assessment Ideas

Use Comments in Scratch to have learners explain their steps (right click > add comment).


  • Can learners find a way to keep score within their game?
  • Use the backdrops tab to draw a map of your neighbourhood and set it as the background for a new level.
  • Have learners create a success screen that describes this historic flight.
  • Identify how the four forces of flight are incorporated within our code (weight, lift, thrust, drag)

Science, Visual Design, and Digital Connectivity (Use the Internet to Conduct Research and Communicate with others)

Have learners research the forces of flight using the Internet. Then, ask learners to create a Scratch project that demonstrates the forces of flight using audio explanations and visuals that are initiated by mouse clicks. Before starting the project, have learners create a list of items that would make the project visually appealing and interactive for the user. Display this chart as a reference for when learners are building their project. Upon completion of the projects, have learners peer review another classmate’s project and provide feedback in the form of a Star and Wish (One complement and one change that could make the project better for the end user).

Teach lessons that are tied to your existing curriculum!


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    The K-12 Computer Science Framework

    Although learning how to build digital projects is a key part of Computer Science education, students should also learn a wider set of skills and competencies that will help them to harness the power of digital technologies as both creators and consumers. A comprehensive approach to K-12 Computer Science education includes learning about the following five focus areas:

    View Framework ➝


    By the end of high school, students should be able to create a simple computer program.

    Computing and Networks

    By the end of high school, students should understand and be able to use the tools and devices commonly used to build digital projects.


    By the end of high school, students should be able to explain how we use computers to create, store, organize, and analyze data.

    Technology and Society

    By the end of high school, students should be able to explore the ways in which technology and society have mutually shaped each other.


    By the end of high school, students should be able to apply design principles to the digital projects they create.