Grade R Coding and Robotics Lesson Plan: Coding

Lesson Plan Title:

Grade R Coding Lesson Plan: Interpreting and Executing a Given Set of Commands

Materials Needed:

  • A class set of toy robots or simple hardware like Bee-Bots
  • Coloured sticky tape
  • Large grid mat or printed floor grid
  • Command cards (symbols or simple written commands)
  • Whiteboard and markers
  • Pre-printed worksheets with a simple command sequence
  • Storybook about robots or coding (optional)

Learning Objectives:

  • Students will learn to recognise and interpret symbolic or written commands.
  • Students will execute a given set of commands on a grid mat.
  • Students will understand the basic concepts of sequence and direction in coding.

Vocabulary:

  1. Command: An instruction for an action.
  2. Robot: A machine that can be programmed to perform actions.
  3. Sequence: A particular order in which related things follow each other.
  4. Execute: To carry out a command.
  5. Grid: A pattern of lines that cross each other to form a series of squares or rectangles.

Previous Learning:

Previously, students were introduced to the concept of left, right, forward, and backward in a kinesthetic lesson, using their bodies to follow directions in the classroom.

Anticipated Challenges and Solutions:

  • Difficulty interpreting symbols/written commands: Provide visual aids and direct guidance.
  • Executing commands precisely: Break down tasks into smaller steps and offer guided practice.
  • Maintaining focus: Short and varied activities to keep engagement high.

Beginning Activities (4 minutes):

  1. Introduction to Learning Objectives (2 mins):
  2. Start by explaining that today we’re going to help our robots move by giving them instructions.
  3. Briefly discuss what commands are and how we use them to talk to robots.
  4. Activate Prior Knowledge (2 mins):
  5. Ask students if they remember the directions: left, right, forward, and backward.
  6. Do a quick, fun drill asking them to move in these directions at their spots.

Middle Activities (32 minutes):

  1. Direct Instruction (6 mins):
  2. Show the class a toy robot and a set of command cards.
  3. Demonstrate how a robot moves based on the commands given (e.g., forward, left turn).
  4. Use the whiteboard to model a simple sequence of commands and invite a student to help.

  5. Guided Practice (10 mins):

  6. Distribute a set of command cards and a toy robot to small groups.
  7. Place a large grid mat on the floor and assign each group a starting point.
  8. Give groups a simple command sequence card to decode and execute on the grid.
  9. Walk around the room, offering assistance and observing their understanding.

  10. Independent Practice (10 mins):

  11. Hand out pre-printed worksheets with a blank grid and a sequence of commands.
  12. Ask students to draw the path a robot would take on the grid based on the given commands.
  13. Students work individually but can quietly discuss with peers if needed.

  14. Story Integration (optional, 6 mins):

  15. Read a short storybook that involves robots or basic coding concepts to reinforce learning.
  16. Incorporate questions about sequences and commands during the story.

End Activities (4 minutes):

  1. Exit Ticket Activity:
  2. Each student receives a small card with a command written or drawn.
  3. They must place the card on a shared class grid at the correct location and direction based on the command.
  4. Quick review and some words of encouragement.

Assessment and Checks for Understanding:

  • Observe student interactions and discussions during guided and independent practice.
  • Review the worksheets and exit ticket activities to check for accurate interpretation and execution of commands.
  • Use questioning during the story to assess comprehension verbally.

Differentiation Strategies for Diverse Learners:

  • Scaffolding: Provide extra visual aids or pairs to students who need more support. Use simplified commands for struggling students.
  • Extensions: Challenge advanced students with more complex sequences or introduce them to basic loops (repeating sequences).
  • Kinesthetic Learners: Involve more physical movement by having students act out commands before using the robots.

Teaching Notes:

  • Purpose of the Lesson: This lesson introduces basic coding concepts in a tangible and engaging way, fostering problem-solving and sequencing skills.
  • Educational Value: Aligns with CAPS outcomes by encouraging logical thinking, early coding skills, and cooperative learning.
  • Tips: Ensure the activity remains light-hearted and fun. Use praise generously to build confidence.
  • Accessibility Considerations: Ensure all grids, command cards, and robots are easily reachable and usable for students with mobility limitations. Offer verbal commands alongside written ones for auditory learners.

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