Coding and Robotics Lesson Plans for Grade 1

Coding and robotics are rapidly becoming essential skills in the modern world, and it’s important for young learners to start developing these skills as early as possible. However, it can be challenging for teachers to create effective coding and robotics lesson plans for young students, especially in communities with limited resources. In South Africa, where access to technology can be limited in some areas, it’s crucial for teachers to have access to high-quality, engaging lesson plans that can help their students develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

Fortunately, there are several excellent resources available for teachers in South Africa who want to incorporate coding and robotics into their lesson plans for Grade 1 students. These resources include online courses, lesson plans, and programming languages that are specifically designed for young learners. By using these tools, teachers can help their students develop the foundational skills they need to succeed in the digital age, while also fostering a love of learning and exploration that will stay with them throughout their lives.

Whether you’re a seasoned educator or a new teacher just starting out, incorporating coding and robotics into your lesson plans can be a rewarding experience for both you and your students. By giving students the opportunity to explore technology and learn new skills, you can help them develop the confidence and creativity they need to thrive in today’s rapidly-changing world. So if you’re looking to create engaging, effective lesson plans for Grade 1 students in South Africa, there’s never been a better time to get started.

Overview of the Coding and Robotics Curriculum for Grade 1

Coding and robotics are increasingly becoming important components of the primary school curriculum, with more and more schools in South Africa introducing coding and robotics for grade 1 students. The coding and robotics curriculum for grade 1 is designed to introduce young learners to the basics of coding and robotics, laying a foundation for future learning and development.

The curriculum is built around a range of core elements, including computational thinking, problem-solving, digital literacy, and teamworking. It is designed to help students develop key skills and competencies, such as creativity, critical thinking, communication skills, and collaboration. By introducing these skills early on, the curriculum aims to prepare students for the challenges of the 21st century and equip them with the tools they need to succeed in an increasingly digital world.

The coding and robotics curriculum for grade 1 typically covers a range of topics, including basic programming concepts, digital citizenship, and robotics fundamentals. It often includes a range of practical activities and exercises, such as programming simple robots, designing and building 3D models, and creating games and apps using simple coding languages.

The curriculum is typically structured around a range of learning outcomes and objectives, focusing on the development of key competencies and skills. These may include:

  • Introducing learners to the basic principles of coding and programming
  • Developing computational thinking skills, including logical reasoning, problem-solving, and algorithmic thinking
  • Building digital literacy skills, such as online safety and digital citizenship
  • Encouraging teamwork and collaboration through group projects and activities
  • Developing an understanding of basic robotics concepts through practical exercises and experiments

Overall, the coding and robotics curriculum for grade 1 provides young learners with an introduction to the world of coding and robotics, helping them develop key skills and competencies that will be essential for their future success. By providing a solid foundation for future learning, the curriculum aims to inspire a love of technology and a passion for innovation, helping students to become confident and capable digital citizens.

Learning OutcomesObjectives
Introducing learners to the basic principles of coding and programmingTeaching students the basics of programming languages and concepts, including algorithms, loops, and conditional statements
Developing computational thinking skillsFostering abilities in logical reasoning, problem-solving, and critical thinking
Building digital literacy skillsProviding resources and education on online safety and proper digital citizenship
Encouraging teamwork and collaborationGroup projects and activities designed to promote cooperation and communication between peers
Developing an understanding of basic robotics conceptsUtilizing practical exercises and experiments to explore the fundamentals of robotics engineering

Benefits of Incorporating Coding and Robotics in Grade 1 Education

In recent years, there has been increased interest in introducing coding and robotics at an early age in South Africa. The benefits of these activities for primary school children are numerous and include:

1. Developing Problem-Solving and Critical-Thinking Skills

Introducing coding and robotics in grade 1 education helps pupils develop problem-solving and critical-thinking skills, which can be used throughout their academic and professional careers. By learning to code and program, students gain insight into how technology works, and develop the skills to identify and solve problems. This early introduction to coding and robotics helps students develop logical thinking and analytical skills that are essential for success in STEM subjects and fields.

2. Encouraging Creativity and Imagination

Coding and robotics activities also encourage creativity and imagination in young learners. It allows them to explore their own ideas and methods, developing innovative and novel ways of solving problems. Teaching coding and robotics also promotes teamwork and collaboration, which boosts creativity, cooperation and social skills.

3. Preparing Students for the Future

By incorporating coding and robotics lessons in grade 1 education, students are given a fundamental introduction to 21st-century skills that prepares them for the digital age. These skills include computer literacy, algorithmic thinking, and an understanding of the basic principles of programming. This knowledge is becoming increasingly important and valuable in modern-day industries like Artificial Intelligence, Data Science, and Robotics.

4. Bridging the Gender Gap in Tech

Coding and robotics encourage girls to develop a keen interest and pursue a career in the tech industry. Normally, computer programming and robotics have been dominated by men, and thus teaching these subjects early on can help to bridge the gender gap in this sector.

The introduction of coding and robotics in South Africa’s primary school curriculum for young learners offers a wealth of opportunities that prepare them for future STEM and technology-led industries. Career opportunities in these industries are expected to grow by more than 20% over the next decade, thus, teaching code and robotics enhances the country’s ability to produce the workforce of the future.

Understanding the Needs and Learning Styles of Grade 1 Learners

Teaching coding and robotics to Grade 1 learners in South Africa requires an understanding of their unique needs and learning styles. This is because children at this age are still developing their cognitive, socio-emotional, and physical abilities. To make the learning process engaging and effective, teachers need to consider the following:

1. Play and Exploration

Grade 1 learners are naturally curious and love to explore their environment using their senses. They enjoy playing games, solving puzzles, and making things with their hands. Therefore, coding and robotics lessons should incorporate interactive, hands-on activities that encourage experimentation, problem-solving, and creativity. Teachers can use robotics kits, coding games, and outdoor activities to stimulate learners’ curiosity and build their confidence in using technology.

2. Visual and Kinesthetic Learning

Grade 1 learners have different learning styles, but many of them are visual and kinesthetic learners. They need visual aids such as pictures, videos, and diagrams to help them understand concepts, and they prefer to learn through movement and touch. Therefore, coding and robotics lessons should use visual and interactive materials such as instructional videos, digital drawings, and virtual simulations to enhance learners’ engagement and comprehension.

3. Clear and Simple Instructions

Grade 1 learners have limited attention spans and may struggle to follow complex instructions. They may also be unfamiliar with technical terms and concepts. Therefore, coding and robotics lessons should use clear, simple, and consistent instructions that are easy to understand and follow. Teachers can use visual cues, colour coding, and mnemonics to help learners remember key steps and concepts.

4. Positive Reinforcement

Grade 1 learners respond well to positive reinforcement such as praise, rewards, and encouragement. They enjoy working in teams and sharing their ideas with others. Therefore, coding and robotics lessons should create a positive and supportive learning environment that celebrates learners’ achievements and encourages collaboration. Teachers can use gamification, peer review, and group projects to foster learners’ self-esteem and motivation.

In summary, teaching coding and robotics to Grade 1 learners in South Africa requires teachers to consider their unique needs and learning styles. By incorporating play, exploration, visual aids, clear instructions, and positive reinforcement, teachers can create engaging and effective lessons that prepare learners for the digital age.

Key Components of an Effective Coding and Robotics Lesson Plan

An effective coding and robotics lesson plan for Grade 1 in South Africa should include the following key components:

1. Learning Objectives

Clearly defined learning objectives aligned with the South African curriculum should be included in the lesson plan. The learning objectives should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound (SMART). The objectives should be communicated to the learners at the beginning of the lesson to ensure that they have a clear understanding of what is expected of them.

2. Hands-on Activities

Hands-on activities should be included in the lesson plan to allow learners to actively engage in the learning process. These activities could include building and programming robots, using coding software to create simple programmes or games, or participating in coding challenges. Hands-on activities not only help learners to develop practical skills but also enable them to learn through exploration and experimentation.

3. Differentiated Instruction

Effective coding and robotics lesson plans should also incorporate differentiated instruction, meaning that they cater to the needs of all learners. This can be achieved by providing learners with options for how to access content or for how to demonstrate their understanding. This can be particularly important for learners who might be struggling or who have different learning styles.

4. Assessment and Reflection

Assessment and reflection are also essential components of an effective coding and robotics lesson plan. Assessment should be ongoing and varied and should include both formative and summative assessment. Formative assessments enable teachers to provide feedback to learners so that they can adjust their learning while summative assessments evaluate learners’ understanding and mastery of content. Reflection allows learners to think critically about their learning and identify areas for improvement.

In summary, an effective coding and robotics lesson plan should include clearly defined learning objectives, hands-on activities, differentiated instruction, and assessment and reflection. By incorporating these key components, teachers can ensure that learners are engaged, challenged, and learning in a way that is relevant to their needs and interests.

Sample Coding Lesson Plan for Grade 1 Students in South Africa

Coding and robotics are becoming increasingly important in the modern world. That’s why the South African government has made coding part of the national curriculum for Grade 1 students. With this in mind, teachers have a unique opportunity to introduce young students to the world of coding through fun and engaging lesson plans.

Here is a sample coding lesson plan for Grade 1 students in South Africa:

Lesson Title: “My First Code”


  • To introduce students to basic coding concepts
  • To develop problem-solving skills
  • To encourage creativity and logical thinking
  • To foster an interest in coding


  • Picture cards with a series of sequential images
  • A worksheet with a blank table
  • A set of coloured markers
  • A computer or tablet with access to a simple coding platform (for example, ScratchJr)


  1. Introduce the lesson by explaining what coding is and how it works.
  2. Divide the students into pairs and distribute the picture cards.
  3. Ask the students to put the picture cards in the correct order to tell a story.
  4. Using the worksheet provided, ask each pair to draw their own pictures and put them in the correct order to tell their own story.
  5. Ask each pair to choose a single colour and use it to code their story. For example, red can represent movement, blue can represent sound, and green can represent waiting.
  6. Using the coding platform, guide the students in coding their story with the coloured markers.
  7. Ask the students to share their coded stories with the class.


  • Check to see if the students have correctly sequenced their picture cards.
  • Observe how well students work together in pairs.
  • Evaluate how effectively students have used colours to code their stories.
  • Look out for creativity and enthusiasm in sharing coded stories with the class.

By following this lesson plan, Grade 1 students in South Africa can develop fundamental coding skills while also having fun and being creative. This sample lesson can be easily adapted to suit the needs of individual classrooms while meeting the national curriculum requirements.

Sample Robotics Lesson Plan for Grade 1 Students in South Africa

In order to teach coding and robotics to Grade 1 students in South Africa, teachers must create engaging and age-appropriate lesson plans. Below is a sample lesson plan that can be used to teach Grade 1 students the basics of coding and robotics.


The teacher will introduce the topic of coding and robotics through a short video or presentation. They will explain that robots are machines that can be programmed to do certain tasks, and that coding is the process of creating instructions that tell a robot what to do.

Activity 1: Dancing Robots

The teacher will instruct the students to work in pairs to create a dancing robot using coding blocks on a computer or tablet. The coding blocks will allow the students to create a sequence of actions for their robot to follow such as turning left or right, moving forward or backward, or making a sound.

Activity 2: Follow the Line

Working in pairs, the students will create a robot that can follow a black line on a whiteboard. They will use a programmable robot such as Bee-Bot or Dash to create the robot, and use coding blocks to instruct the robot to follow the line.

Activity 3: Maze Challenge

The students will work in pairs to create a robot that can navigate through a maze. They will use a programmable robot such as Bee-Bot or Dash, and use coding blocks to instruct the robot to move through the maze, turn at corners, and avoid obstacles.


To assess the students’ understanding, the teacher will ask the students to present their robot creations to the class. The students will explain why they chose certain coding blocks and how they got their robots to perform certain actions. The teacher will also assess the students’ ability to work collaboratively and follow instructions.

This sample lesson plan provides a basic framework for teaching coding and robotics to Grade 1 students in South Africa. By using hands-on activities that involve working in pairs and using programmable robots, the students will develop a better understanding of coding and how it can be used to control robots. With further exploration and practice, the students can develop their skills and pave the way for future success in the field of computer science.

Integration of Coding and Robotics Across the Grade 1 Curriculum

The integration of coding and robotics in the Grade 1 curriculum is a great way to enhance students’ learning experience. This approach enables students to learn in a fun and interactive way, so they can develop a deeper understanding of key concepts. Specifically, it offers them the opportunity to learn computer programming, logical thinking, problem-solving, and many more essential skills.

One of the primary advantages of integrating coding and robotics into the curriculum is that it complements other subjects, such as maths and science. For example, students can use coding and robotics to explore concepts like measurement and shapes. They may also learn about distance, speed, and velocity in science using robotics.

Another significant advantage of including coding and robotics in Grade 1 is that it promotes creativity and innovation among young learners. This approach can lead to an increased interest in STEM-related fields and foster curiosity towards technology. By introducing coding and robotics at a young age, students are more likely to develop an interest in technology and its possibilities, which can help them in their future careers.

Furthermore, integrating coding and robotics can facilitate the development of critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Students are encouraged to think more analytically and logically when working with robots, as they must design, program, and troubleshoot their robots by themselves or in groups. This approach promotes mental agility, problem-solving skills, and a can-do attitude among students.

In conclusion, integrating coding and robotics into the Grade 1 curriculum offers numerous benefits for both students and teachers. Not only does it foster critical thinking and problem-solving skills, but it also promotes creativity and innovation among young learners. By having coding and robotics integrated in the curriculum, teachers can help prepare their students for a technology-driven future.

Resources and Tools for Grade 1 Coding and Robotics Lesson Planning

To help educators create effective coding and robotics lesson plans for Grade 1 students in South Africa, there are a variety of resources and tools available. These resources and tools can provide educators with valuable support as they strive to engage young learners in STEM subjects and foster their interest in these fields.

1. Scratch Jr.

Scratch Jr. is a programming language designed specifically for young children, aged 5 to 7. It uses a simple block-based interface to help students learn the basics of programming logic and sequencing. Scratch Jr. offers a range of activities and projects suitable for Grade 1 students, including creating stories, animations, and games.

2. Lego Education WeDo 2.0

Lego Education WeDo 2.0 is a robotics and coding platform that allows students to build and program robots using Lego bricks and a digital app. The platform includes a range of projects and activities designed for Grade 1 learners, with a focus on hands-on learning and exploration. It also includes teacher guides and support materials to assist educators in lesson planning and implementation.

3. is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting computer science education in schools worldwide. Their website offers a range of resources and tools for educators, including lesson plans, tutorials, and online courses. has a special section for early learners, featuring a series of interactive coding activities and games suitable for Grade 1 students.

4. Google CS First

Google CS First is a free computer science curriculum designed for elementary and middle school students. It offers a range of coding and robotics projects, including activities focused on storytelling, music, and art. The curriculum is designed to be accessible and engaging for students of all levels, including those with no prior coding experience.

5. Scratch Coding Cards

Scratch Coding Cards are a set of physical cards that can be used to teach coding concepts to young learners. Each card features a different coding challenge, with instructions for creating Scratch projects using drag-and-drop blocks. The cards are suitable for use with Grade 1 students and can be used as a standalone resource or integrated into larger lesson plans.

By using these resources and tools, educators can create engaging and effective coding and robotics lesson plans for Grade 1 students in South Africa. With a focus on hands-on learning, exploration, and creativity, these tools can help foster a lifelong interest in STEM subjects and set young learners on a path to success.

Assessment and Evaluation of Grade 1 Coding and Robotics Learning Outcomes

In order to assess and evaluate the learning outcomes of grade 1 coding and robotics lesson plans in South African schools, various methods may be used. The goal is to measure students’ understanding and progress while also identifying areas for improvement in the curriculum.

1. Performance-Based Assessment

One effective method is performance-based assessment, which assesses the student’s ability to apply the knowledge and skills they’ve learnt in a practical situation. This type of assessment includes tasks like programming a robot to perform a specific task or debugging a program. These tasks can be done individually, in pairs, or in groups.

2. Observations

Observation is another method that can be used to assess grade 1 students’ understanding of coding and robotics concepts. Teachers can observe students’ behaviour, interactions, and group work to evaluate their understanding of the concepts, and how they apply them in a practical situation. This method doesn’t require formal testing, so can be done more frequently, which can help teachers to identify any issues quickly.

3. Portfolios

Another option is to ask students to create a portfolio that demonstrates their new coding and robotics skills. Students can compile examples of their coding work, including screenshots, code snippets and explanations of how they worked. This can help teachers to understand how well a student has grasped the concepts, how they’ve applied them in a practical situation, and how much they’ve progressed over time.

4. Tests and Quizzes

Finally, tests and quizzes can be used to assess a student understanding of coding and robotics concepts, including syntax and problem-solving skills. While tests and quizzes may not be practical for all concepts, they can still provide insight into students’ understanding of concepts like logic, syntax, and algorithms.

In summary, a range of assessment methods can be used to evaluate grade 1 students’ understanding and progression in coding and robotics. By using a variety of methods, teachers can gain a more accurate understanding of how well their students have grasped the concepts and where they may need extra attention.

Conclusion: The Future of Coding and Robotics Education in South Africa

In conclusion, the implementation of coding and robotics lesson plans for Grade 1 students in South Africa is a significant step towards equipping learners with essential skills for the future. The integration of technology in early childhood education will enable children to develop critical thinking, problem-solving, and creativity skills that are vital in the modern world.

Various studies have shown that early exposure to coding and robotics education enhances cognitive development, making it an essential aspect of education. It is also worth noting that technology is rapidly advancing, and with the increasing demand for digital literacy, there is a growing need for coding and robotics education.

Therefore, it is imperative that stakeholders in education, including policymakers, educators, parents, and the private sector, work together to ensure that coding and robotics education is integrated into the education system fully. This can be achieved by providing adequate resources, training, and support for educators, as well as creating awareness among learners and parents about the benefits of coding and robotics education.

In conclusion, the future of coding and robotics education in South Africa is promising, and with the right measures in place, learners will be well-equipped to face the challenges and opportunities of the modern world.