Joanne James▸ F-6 Digital Technologies MOOC

Option 2: Describe a classroom activity that uses one of the visual programming environments we have introduced in this module.

Daisy the Dinosaur (early childhood coding iPad app), is a great resource to use in the classroom for Prep or Grade 1.  Not only can it be used  to start teaching coding to young children, it can be used in conjunction with a literacy lesson. The resources required would be data projector/IWB, and a class set of iPads. The command words used in the app are  simple ones.  The words are: repeat, when, move (backward, forward), turn, grow. shrink, spin, jump, roll. There are two playing modes – challenge mode and free-play mode. The teacher should present the command words on the IWB making sure all students understand the meaning of the words.  The teacher could also demonstrate the app on the data projector using the free-play mode.  First step would be to allow the students to use the app selecting challenge mode. The app structures the steps of coding so once the student has mastered all the challenges (with some teacher assistance) they can move on to the free-play mode. The task would be to make Daisy dance across the stage using the commands move( forward and backward), turn, spin, roll, grown and shrink, repeat, when.  Once they have completed that, using pen and paper they can write simple sentences describing what they made Daisy do, using the command words. The Daisy character is a very easy one to draw so students can produce drawings for their sentences.

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