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Speaking Code: What is Coding?
Lesson 1 (of 7)

By Jen Perry 45 minutes
Level
Grades 4-6
Subjects
English Language Arts,
Science and Technology,
Mathematics
components
  • Programming
  • Technology and Society
Tools & Languages
Block-based,
Unplugged

Key Coding Concepts

  • Algorithms
  • Conditional Statements
  • Debugging
  • Events
  • Loops
  • Sequences

Terminology

Algorithm

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

 

Sequence

Identifying a series of steps necessary to complete a task

 

Loops

Running the same sequence multiple times

 

Conditionals

Making connections based on conditions (ie. if it is raining, then open your umbrella)

 

Events

When one thing causes another thing to happen

 

Debugging

Finding problems in code and solving them

This is the first of seven lessons.

Learners will begin to learn various coding concepts, including algorithms, sequences, loops, conditionals, events and debugging, through Flocabulary videos and interactive coding activities. These activities can be taught as directed whole-class lessons, as a Coding Club, or as individual self-directed modules.

Each of the five concepts includes an unplugged activity to further learners’ understanding of coding concepts/language. As a final assessment, learners will create their own video game.

Prerequisites

The educator should have some knowledge of coding concepts and experience with Scratch. Completing the individual activities ahead of time would be helpful as you may have to model how to complete them. There is an option to see the solution for each activity.

Materials

  • Books about coding

Ask learners what they know about coding.

Create a KWL (Know, What you Want to Know, & What you Learned) about coding. This chart can be completed as a whole class or in small groups.

What is coding?

Flocabulary - What is Coding?

Coding is a language based on logical thinking.

Before you learn to code, you need to learn the language.

Here are some key concepts we will be learning:

  • Sequence/Algorithm
  • Loops
  • Conditionals
  • Events
  • Debugging

Provide learners with an opportunity to explore coding through Hour of Code activities.

Also, allow learners the opportunity to explore coding books.

Formatively assess KWL Chart. Make note of specific questions or topics that learners want to learn.

Modifications

Learners who are struggling with completing the activities can be paired with a stronger learner. The educator can also work with a small group of learners who may need additional support.

Coding

English

  • Journal writing prompt or class discussion: Should kids be taught how to code at school? Why or why not?
  • Create a venn diagram comparing learning to code vs. learning a world language. Ditch that Textbook has a Google Draw Venn Diagram template.
  • For this lesson series, learners could use a digital or regular journal to include the coding vocabulary taught.

Technology & Society (History of Technology)

Flocabulary Coding Concept Videos
https://www.flocabulary.com/unit/coding/

code.org

code.org Unplugged Curriculum
https://code.org/curriculum/unplugged

Google Doc: Learning Coding Concepts (Independent Study)
http://bit.ly/speaking-code-learning-coding-concepts

11 Best Coding Toys for Kids (Gear Hungry, 2018)
https://www.gearhungry.com/coding-toys-for-kids/

The Best Coding Books for Kids of All Ages (Coder Kids, 2020)
https://www.coderkids.com/blog/the-best-coding-books-for-kids-of-all-ages-2020

Ada Lovelace Cracks the Code (By Rebel Girls)
https://www.amazon.ca/Lovelace-Cracks-Code-Rebel-Girls/dp/1733176187

Inspiring the Next Generation of African American Coders (By CodeNinjas)
https://blog.codeninjas.com/inspiring-the-next-generation-of-african-american-coders-55a51841cb6e

Assessment Rubric:
ScratchEd (Karen Randall, Natalie Rusk)
http://scratched.gse.harvard.edu/resources/rubric-assessing-scratch-projects-draft-0

Google Draw Venn Diagram template (Ditch that Textbook) https://docs.google.com/drawings/u/1/d/1DZN0y8xbq4GxPAyE2pcPvIP3bGJtQGYAqyYBvE9Ap20/copy

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

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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:

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

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    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

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