Skip Navigation

micro: virtual pet

By Jen Perry 3 hours
Level
Grades 4-6
Subjects
English Language Arts,
Mathematics
components
  • Programming
  • Technology and Society
  • Design
Tools & Languages
Block-based,
micro:bit,
Python,
Unplugged

Key Coding Concepts

  • Algorithms
  • Functions
  • Loops

Terminology

Algorithm

A step-by-step set of operations to be performed to help solve a problem

 

Function

A type of procedure or routine that performs a distinct operation

 

Loops

Running the same sequence multiple times

Learners will design their own micro: virtual pet, adding animations based on age and ability.

*Recommended to run the lesson over three sessions

Prerequisites

Some previous experience with micro:bit would be beneficial.

Educator should review the Micro:bit Quick Start Guide.

Technology

  • micro:bit (one per learner)
  • Computers or a device capable of pairing to micro:bit (one per learner)

Materials

  1. Review micro:bit functions
  2. Hand out Prototype Design Planning Sheet and allow time to complete (for exemplars of projects see MakeCode micro:bit Pet Project)
  3. Provide learners with crafting material and allow them to create their micro: virtual pet. *Note: The pet should be able to hold the micro:bit and battery pack. The micro:bit’s face should be showing. Also, the micro:bit should be able to be easily turned on and off.
  4. Animate your virtual pet:

    Table of animation activities based on skill-level
    Option Description Link to Activity
    A (already created code) Includes videos, detailed instructions and examples. Learners will download the already created code to animate their own pet. bit.ly/bbc-micro-pet-advanced
    B (basic) Create a basic animation (such a happy and sad face). Go to makecode.microbit.org and select the “Smiley Buttons” tutorial.
    C (intermediate) In this task, learners will create their own micro:bit pet using Python. groklearning.com/hoc/activity/virtual-pet/

Create your own design rubric or use the one provided.

Coding:

  • Make the pet move
  • Create a pet that reacts when you touch it (find a way to detect when the micro:bit is moved or when its position changes in a certain way)
  • Additional challenge: Digital Maker: Virtual Cat 3-4 hours intermediate project

English: Learners can pretend their pet needs to be adopted and create a bio about their pet (see a local Humane Society for examples such as the Calgary Humane Society’s Animals for Adoption website)

Tech & Society (Safe Communication): Identify how computers have positively and negatively impacted how people communicate with each other. Review the articles and/or videos about companion robot pets:

Companion Robot Pets: for older people
Tombot - Robotic Emotional Support Animals
Robot therapy dogs could help patients who can't care for living pet (KHOU News 11)
Robotic Pets Are Helping Dementia Patients(HBO)

Data (AI & Machine Learning): Check out Machine Learning Projects: Virtual Pet.

Universal Design: Describe a variety of adaptive technologies that help to improve accessibility. Identify strategies to design more inclusively. As a challenge, learners could use recycled materials to create a prototype of a pet/service animal robot.

Micro:bit Quick Start Guide
https://microbit.org/get-started/first-steps/set-up/

MakeCode micro:bit Pet Project
https://makecode.microbit.org/courses/csintro/making/project

Tech Will Save Us: Micro-pet
https://make.techwillsaveus.com/microbit/activities/micro-pet-advanced
*includes examples (scroll to bottom of website)

Hour of Code: Virtual Pet (Python micro:bit)
https://groklearning.com/hoc/activity/virtual-pet/

Digital Maker: Virtual Cat 3-4 hours intermediate project (extension activity)
https://codesg.imda.gov.sg/virtual-cat/

Calgary Humane Society Animals for Adoption
https://www.calgaryhumane.ca/adopt/animals-for-adoption/

SmartinFive: Companion Robot Pets for older people
https://smartinfive.com/robot-pets-elderly/

Tombot - Robotic Emotional Support Animals
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/tombot/tombot-affordable-robotic-companion-animals-for-se

Robot therapy dogs could help patients who can't care for living pet (KHOU News 11)
https://youtu.be/_NP0Tn-R2CY

Robotic Pets Are Helping Dementia Patients (HBO)
https://youtu.be/cFvGAL9tesM

Machine Learning for Kids Projects
https://machinelearningforkids.co.uk/#!/worksheets

Teach lessons that are tied to your existing curriculum! https://bit.ly/CLClessons

r

More Lesson Plans For Grades 4-6

    View All Lesson Plans

    Explore lessons based on components

    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 ➝

    Programming

    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.

    Data

    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.

    Design

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