Thursday, August 25, 2016

Explorers of Coding: Fourth Grade

Explorers of Coding
“Exploration of Technology”
Lesson Plan for 4th Grade
Prepared by Ms. Yandell


We are to be explorers of our society, to learn and create new things. This lesson aims to introduce the basic fundamentals of coding, which is creating a program that gives a computer specific instructions to do something.  We will explore the importance of coding and how technology is shaping our society.   


  1. Next Generation Science Standards
  2. Common Core
  3. Integrated Math, English, Language Arts, & Science


  1. Comprehension
  2. Problem Solving
  3. Creativity
  4. Planning out a series of instructions
  5. Write a program
  6. Test- see if your program works
  7. Debugging- find where you made a mistake in your program instruction and make, make changes as necessary!


  1. Ipad
  2. Light bot game


Steps to check for student understanding
  1. How would you explain, in words, how to move the Lightbot to the car?
  2. How did you come up with a solution to a new level, and what were the individual steps?
  3. If Lightbot did not do what you wanted, how did you find the mistake and fix it?
  4. Why is coding important and give some examples of real life things we are able to do use from computer programming? (music, art, games, apps, internet)
  5. If you were able to create a computer program what would it be?


Today, we are going to be playing a puzzle game called Lightbot. In Lightbot, there is a robot and he lives in a world of square tiles. The goal in each level is for Lightbot to light up all the blue tiles in the level. However, Lightbot does not understand something as complicated as saying “light all the blue tiles”. Instead, he does understand a basic set of rules. Display the following to students. An arrow icon tells Lightbot to move forward one space. A light bulb icon tells Lightbot to light up the tile he is standing on. You are all going to play Lightbot and try to beat the “Basics” level set.
**To begin we will play a short game of Simon Says.  I will give specific instructions that you must follow to be successful at the game! (3 mins)
**Go over the Lightbot instructions
1.To control Lightbot you need to give him a set of instructions, called a ‘program’, to run. 2.Once you press the green play button, Lightbot will perform all the instructions in the program one at a time.
3. If he makes a mistake, you will then have to tell Lightbot to go back to the start, and afterwards, change the program to give the correct instructions. Lightbot knows a few more instructions which will be introduced to you as you complete more levels.
(This lesson was adapted from

Recap written by Jessica Yandell:
Last week, I had the opportunity to visit the fourth grade class to introduce them to coding.  The fourth grade thematic unit is focused around the age of exploration, which is why the lesson is called Explorers of Coding: The Exploration of Technology.  

I started the lesson by asking the students what they knew about coding, as well as,  name some things in our community that can be made from computer programming.  There were only a handful of students who knew how to explain what coding is.  I found it beneficial to explain the importance of why we must be explorers of technology, and asked the students how their life would be different without music, internet, games, etc.
The first part of introducing coding, I had the class play a quick game of Simon says, where I was Simon.  I wanted them to get the idea that to code a computer program, it takes specific instructions and you can not miss any steps.  Following the unplugged activity, each student participated in an hour of code using the Light Bot program on the Ipads.  During this time, the students were able to learn about the importance of sequencing, and following correct steps to accomplish a task.  This was a great time for the students to practice collaboration skills too; they were able to explain the correct sequence of steps to their friends that were having a harder time grasping the concept.  

Overall, this was a great activity to get students acquainted with coding and understanding the basics to programming a computer program.  Our next lesson will be introducing our new class friends, Dash & Dot smart robots!

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