Grade R Coding and Robotics Lesson Plan: Coding

Lesson Plan Title:
Grade R Coding and Robotics Lesson Plan: Debug a Given Symbolic or Written Set of Instructions

Materials Needed:
– Interactive whiteboard or projector
– Printed instruction cards with simple sequences (pictorial/symbolic)
– A toy robot or a tablet with a simple coding app (like Bee-Bot or LightBot)
– Worksheets with a simple maze or path
– Colour markers or crayons

Learning Objectives:
– Students will learn to identify and correct errors in a set of symbolic or written instructions.
– Students will enhance their logical thinking and problem-solving skills.
– Students will develop basic coding vocabulary.

1. Instruction: A direction or order given for doing something.
2. Debug: To find and correct mistakes in instructions or code.
3. Sequence: The order in which instructions are followed.
4. Robot: A machine capable of carrying out a complex series of actions automatically.
5. Error: A mistake in the set of instructions that causes it not to work properly.

Previous Learning:
Students have been introduced to simple instructions and sequences in previous lessons. They have also practised giving directions using basic commands such as forward, backward, left, and right.

Anticipated Challenges and Solutions:
Challenge: Students may struggle to identify errors in the instructions.
Solution: Use guided practice and provide hints to help them spot mistakes.
Challenge: Some students may find it difficult to understand the concept of debugging.
Solution: Use relatable examples from everyday life where they had to fix something that wasn’t working correctly.

Beginning Activities (4 minutes):
1. Introduction (2 minutes): Start with a brief discussion on what instructions are and the importance of following them correctly. Ask students if they have ever followed a recipe or instructions to build a toy.
2. Activate Prior Knowledge (2 minutes): Show a short video or animation of a robot following a set of correct instructions and then another where the robot makes mistakes. Ask the students to identify what went wrong in the second video.

Middle Activities (32 minutes):
1. Direct Instruction (8 minutes): Explain the concept of debugging. Use simple examples with symbolic instructions (like arrows or pictures) showing a path that should be followed and deliberately include an error. Demonstrate how to spot and correct the error on the board.
2. Guided Practice (10 minutes): Distribute printed instruction cards with sequences containing simple errors. Work through these examples together with the class, encouraging students to find and correct the mistakes.
3. Interactive Activity (14 minutes):
– Split students into small groups and provide them with a toy robot or tablet with a coding app.
– Give each group a set of instructions, some correct and some with errors.
– Ask students to follow the instructions and identify any problems. They must then debug the instructions and make the robot follow the correct path.

End Activities (4 minutes):
1. Exit Ticket Activity (3 minutes): Hand out a simple worksheet with a maze and a set of instructions, including at least one error. Ask students to debug the instructions to correctly complete the maze.
2. Wrap-Up Discussion (1 minute): Briefly discuss what they learned about debugging and why it is important. Ensure they understand the key terms.

Assessment and Checks for Understanding:
– Observe students during guided and independent activities to ensure understanding.
– Use the exit ticket activity to assess their ability to debug a simple set of instructions.
– Ask questions during the lesson to check for understanding of key concepts.

Differentiation Strategies for Diverse Learners:
For advanced learners: Provide more complex sequences with multiple errors to debug.
For struggling learners: Offer one-on-one support and simpler sequences. Allow them to use physical manipulatives, such as arrows on the floor, to physically trace the path.
For EAL learners: Use visual aids and bilingual instruction cards if possible.

Teaching Notes:
– Emphasise the importance of each step in a sequence being correct for the robot to function properly.
– Use real-life examples where instructions are crucial, like following a recipe or assembling a toy, to make it relatable.
– Ensure all materials are accessible to students with disabilities. For instance, use large print and tactile materials for students with visual impairments.

This lesson plan aims to bridge students’ understanding of coding principles by engaging them in identifying and correcting errors in symbolic instructions, thereby developing critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

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