Coding Stories

Coding Stories is an eTwinning project and its aim is to introduce coding through stories in primary school to improve communication, collaboration, problem-solving and computational thinking skills. 

 

What is coding?

 

Coding (or programming) is a basic language of the digital age. It involves the process of creating step-by-step instructions a computer understands and needs in order for its programs to work. 

 

Why Coding stories?

 

Coding stories use maths, encourage problem-solving, strengthen communication and collaboration and promote literacy.

 

Introducing coding to pupils

 

We start with the introduction to directional language, like up and down, left and right and using ordinals (first, second, third). I created flashcards and pupil cards from the ScratchJr blocks and a Quizlet study set to practise the vocabulary.

Blocks PDF

 

 

What is Algorithm?

 

I ask a student to come and sit in front of the class and take off her shoes and socks. What is the first step to put on her shoes? We develop the following algorithm together:

 

1. Locate the sock

2. Pick up the sock

3. Place sock on one foot

4. Put on your shoe

5. Repeat steps 1-4 for the other foot

 

So what is Algorithm? A list of steps that you can follow to finish a task. 

 

Computers can't think, they follow instructions. Programmers often break down complex instructions into smaller steps that are easier to follow.

 

Practising with the course book's characters

 

I created simple grids based on the Happy Maps worksheets by Code.org to practise planning a short route from the character’s start location to the final location. Click on the images to print the grids.

 

         

 

Coding with ScratchJr

 

We coded without computers, now let’s code with a computer. Do you know ScratchJr? It’s an early coding application that is easy and fun making stories and games with.

Let’s create a scene with Otto and Flossy. Do they like each other? What do they usually do?

 

  1. Paint the cat to become Otto from the Happy Street book and add the background.
  2. Resize the cat and add Otto’s  movement blocks
  3. Paint the dog to look like Flossy. Resize it.
  4. Add Flossy’s movements.
  5. Record Flossy’s barking and add what Otto says.

 

Visit the official ScratchJr website to download the application for free and get ideas on how to start programming with it.

 

Where are we from?

 

An ice-breaker activity is always a good start of an eTwinnig project. We use the map below and the block cards to do this task. Pupils work in pairs or groups of three. They decide on the starting point and create a line of codes that lead the readers to the country we are from. The different groups can come up with different routes and we choose one (the easiest, most interesting, most difficult, etc) for our eTwinning partners to solve. If there are more countries in that square, we will add a sentence like this: It doesn't start with the letter M.

 

 

Lesson Plan for introducing coding in the classroom.

 

 

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Hi! I'm Natalia!

Welcome to NatiEnglish where you'll find fun and engaging learning activities and ideas to encourage young English language learners in the 21st Century.

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