Hello everyone, do you remember the word that we learned last week? That’s right – it’s Algorithm. That means a list of instructions that you follow in order to finish a task. We played a game called Happy Maps that told the little Flurb which way it needed to go in order to reach the fruit. That arrow was a very simple algorithm for the Flurb to follow. Today I’ve got a new word for you:
A program is an algorithm that has been coded in a language that a machine can understand. Like a computer! Or a robot! Let’s play a little game. I want you to tell me how to draw a smiley face, one step at a time. How do I need to start? Now give me two instructions at a time. Now give me three instructions at a time.
When you give me multiple instructions at a time, you’re providing me with an “algorithm” to draw each piece of the smiley face.
Now, suppose we were to have a secret “code” for each of those instructions. For example, “Draw an Eye” could look like this: (make a large circle with your hands). If we had special codes for each of those steps, then our algorithm would become a program. We’re going to play a game called Move It Move It that allows us to program each other…and you’ll do it all with your arms!
Unplugged Computer Game: Move It Move It
- Decide who will be the Walking Machine and who will be the Controller.
- Have the Controller set up a grid on the floor made up of pieces of paper as shown on one of the Move It Maps, except with the smiley face upside down, facing the ground.
- The Walking Machine will start by standing on the page with the compass rose.
- The Controller will then lead the Walking Machine step-by-step through the paper maze that they created, using the provided arm signals.
- When the Controller gives the signal to “STOP,” the Walking Machine will flip over the page that they are on. If that page is a smiley face, then the maze was a success!
- The Controller (and anyone else in the group who is not the Walking Machine) can set up a map made of paper, based on one of the Move It Map cards.
- Remember that the smiley face map page should actually be set facing the ground, so that the Walking Machine cannot easily tell where their final location is.
- The Walking Machine begins by standing on the piece of paper imprinted with the compass rose.
- The Controller uses arm movements to guide the Walking Machine. Encourage the Controller to be facing the same direction as the Walking Machine to avoid having them get confused by “East is Right” and “West is Left.”
- Controllers should start by giving one direction at a time, allowing the Walking Machine to take a step before they move on to the next direction.
- Halfway into the activity, you can encourage your students to Control with two instructions before they allow the Walking Machine to take a step, and then three.
- Ideally, by the time the lesson is complete, the students will relay the entire “program” to the Walking Machine before the Walking Machine even takes their first step.
Free Time on the Computer
Now we’re going to go to the Computer Room for some free time playing on our computers. You can choose your favourite games website from the Bookmarks on the Browser Toolbar, or if you’d like to try something new, you can go here for a fun Drag and Drop puzzle game to practice your mouse skills: