Computer Coding for Kids - a 10 session curriculum

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Session 1: Introduction

  • The Hook: Cool Robots
    • Watch Big Hero 6 Robot Videos.
    • Class Mini Discussion.
      • Botfighting in this movie is so cool.
      • How did it make you feel.
      • Do you think this is realistic.
      • Could you do this, someday.
      • Yes.
  • Connecting the Hook.
    • Korea Fighting Robots Festival 2013 - Final Match video.
    • It happens in real life, too.
      • Animation, Robotics.
      • We’re going to learn the building blocks for how to do this in class.
      • You can make this and other amazing creations on your own.
  • Intro to Game Development and Computer Science.
    • We do this, and many other fantastic things, using computer science.
    • Now, what counts as computer science.
    • Applications of computer science (related to the class and otherwise).
      • Programming.
        • Website Design.
        • Game Design.
          • Let’s play some Video Games.
            • Pocket Code games.
            • Unity examples.
          • Discussion.
            • Favorite games.
            • Thie similarities between homemade games and real video games.
            • Video games are just advanced comp-sci.
        • Databases.
        • Robotics.
        • Cybersecurity.
        • Internet Structure.
  • Class Curriculum Overview:
    • What Do You Want to Learn.
      • Robotics, Video Games.
  • Entry Exercise.
    • Plants vs Zombies game code example.
      • Code.org.
      • Free play.
  • Homework:
    • Learn/Think about something cool you can/want to do using computer science, and be prepared to talk about it next class.

Session 2: Code with Lightbot

  • Code Command and Storytelling Exercises.
    • Steps to Brushing Your Teeth.
    • Emphasize: Computer Takes You Literally.
    • Class Discussion of HomeworkHW.
      • Think of your goals. How could you achieve them in a step-by-step list.
      • Build-a-story game 1.
        • Each child goes around and adds one sentence to the story until it ends.
      • Build-a-story game 2.
        • Each child picks one aspect of a story until it’s built.
          • Genre.
          • Themes.
          • Characters.
          • Protagonist.
          • Antagonist.
          • Helper → connected to theme.
          • Climax.
          • Conclusion.
      • Your story.
  • Introduction to Lightbot Exercises.
    • Square.
      • Make the pen draw a square.
      • Make the pen continue drawing a square forever.
    • Triangle.
    • Other Shapes.
    • Learn 1 Other Cool Command for Lightbot.
  • Lightbot Exercise.
    • Basic Moving.
    • Move around the Screen.
  • Free play with Lightbot. Show off to your friends.

Session 3: Code: Variables and Functions

  • Variables (Storage Boxes).
    • Variables are stored values that you can use so you don’t have to remember so many details in your code. Your brain uses a similar concept when it remembers acronyms.
    • You: ROYGBIV (Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet).
    • The Computer: (R=Red, O=Orange, etc).
    • Variables are often used alongside functions, which are stored commands. If variables are like R=red, functions are more like R=Make the object red. We use functions because it’s exhausting to code everything from scratch! For the same reason, we use libraries of functions and variables.
  • Functions.
    • Create a Function on Scrap Paper from the Code Command Exercise (Session 2).
    • Lightbot Functions Game.
      • Find and identify a list of scratch functions. You can make your own. Compete against your friends.
    • Create code.org account and go through Variables/Functions Lesson in Python or Java.
  • Homework:
    • Write down a pretend function for a robot to do.

Session 4: Functions and Libraries

  • Go to codeacademy.org and finish Variables/Functions Lesson in Python or Java.
  • Look at the painting game I made on Kkhan Aacademy.
  • APIs, the world’s libraries.
    • Google Maps API.
    • Google APIs on the Internet. Many programming languages started out as APIs.
  • Programming and History.
    • Women programmers (Ada Lovelace).
    • Binary language.
    • Code is another language.
  • Look at the other games on khanacademy.org that were made using code. Talk about them as a class. Play for a while.

Session 5: Loops

  • Learn about Loops (Your brain does things on repeat).
  • Code.org Loops Video.
  • Lightbot Loops:
    • Make another Square - this time using a Loop.
    • Make a Labyrinth.
    • Make a Circle.
  • Riddle: You have two eggs, and a building that is fifty floors tall. You want to find out how many floors it takes to for an egg to break. How do you do this? Write some scrap code.
  • codeacademy.org Loops Lesson.
  • Why Loops are Important: Computers Have a Short Memory.
  • Homework:
    • Think about loops in your daily life. They can be metaphorical or realistic, but bring some back to discuss.

Session 6: Programming

  • Class Discussion of Homework.
  • Conditionals.
    • If/Else Statements.
    • Class Exercise: Simon Says.
      • If you like puppies, clap (etc.).
    • Codeacademy.org Lesson with Conditionals.
  • Programming Review.
    • Variables, Functions, Loops, and Conditionals.
    • Square Exercises.
  • Pocket Code Introduction.
    • Make your own Pocket Code program to show off to your classmates! Look at other Pocket Code Projects.

Session 7: Pocket Code Project 1

  • Brainstorm! Think of fun project ideas and share with class.
  • Make a Plan.
    • Plot out your program on scrap paper.
    • Aim.
    • Code You Will Use.
      • Variables, Functions, Loops, If/Else Statements.
    • Theme.
      • What makes your project interesting to others.
      • Get it approved by tutor or mentors.

Session 8: Pocket Code Project 2

  • Continue your project work.
  • Move into implementation phase.
  • You can test out some of the code on Pocket Code before you build your entire project.
  • Programming Review with anyone who needs it.

Session 9: Pocket Code Project 3

  • Continue your project work.
  • You should definitely have a plan by now, and have moved into implementation phase.
  • Ask for help if you need it.
  • Individual checks on project progress and help if necessary.

Session 10: Pocket Code Project 4

  • Finish projects.
  • Present your project to tutors, mentors, me and your classmates and guests.

This is a work in progress that continues to evolve. The latest version is a Google Docs document updated regularly: Click here to review it.

Comments and suggestions are welcomed and encouraged. Use the comment section below or use the Contact form to send them.

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