Introduction to Programming via Bee Bots (F/ 1/2) Lesson Plan

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Summary of Lesson Plan:

This lesson involves pupils being introduced to Bee-Bots, which are programmable devices, to find out what they can do and how to program them. They will begin to use specific vocabulary associated with programming and understand that they can control the device by creating simple algorithms. Children younger than Year 1 can certainly access this lesson and the promotion of computer science language is beneficial for the children as they move up the school years.

Probots could also be used for this activity if you do not have Bee-Bots, but for younger children, Bee-Bots are the most simplistic of the robotics available to schools.

Australian Curriculum Links:

Year 1 Science:

  • Questioning and predicting – Pose and respond to questions, and make predictions about familiar objects and events (ACSIS024)
    Evaluating – Compare observations with those of others (ACSIS213)

Year 1 Technologies:

  • Recognise and explore digital systems (hardware and software components) for a purpose (ACTDIK001).
  • Follow, describe and represent a sequence of steps and decisions (algorithms) needed to solve simple problems (ACTDIP004).

Lesson Plan Sequence:

Introduction:

Ask the children what technology they have used at school or at home. Give an example if they need help. ‘At school, as a teacher, I use the interactive whiteboard.’ Write these ideas down on the board or get the children to write them on their own mini whiteboards and share.

Then ask,

  • ‘When you first get this new technology, how do you know how to work it?’
  • ‘How do you handle new things?’
  • ‘Why do you need keep new things safe?’

Show the Bee-Bot and explain that this is a new thing and it needs looking after.

  • What could this be used for?
  • How could it help us with our learning?

Introduce the idea that the children are going to work in pairs or groups for just 2 minutes, and their task is to find out as many things about the Bee-Bot as they can.

  • What does it do?
  • How might it work?

We call this part ‘tinkering’ which means ‘to play with.’

Body:

Come back as a group and create a padlet of all the things the children have noticed about the Bee-Bot.
Give the children a selection of commands cards (see resources) and ask them to work in pairs, if you have enough Bee-Bots, and their task is to see what they can make the Bee-Bot do. This task is purposefully open- ended as the children are exploring and tinkering with the Bee-Bot so there is no need for direct instruction at this point in their interaction with the device.

To challenge certain children, provide them with a map or some toys to create obstacles, allowing the children to create a purpose for their programming.

Conclusion:

After 8-10 minutes, bring the children back as a group and create another padlet to discuss what they have learned about the Bee-Bot.

  • How did you get it to work?
  • How could we use it in other lessons?
  • What did you get your device to do?
  • How did you get stuck?
  • How did you get past being stuck?

Allow some children to demonstrate what they have made the Bee-Bot do and re-cap the command buttons and directions you can make the Bee-Bot move in.

 

Assessment Ideas:

Observing the children as they work:

  • How do they collaborate with others?
  • Are they using programming vocabulary that you have modelled?
  • Video the children for evidence and ask them to describe and explain what they are doing and how they are doing it. This will show their understanding, explaining, reasoning and oral skills.

Resources:

Download all of the lesson-related resources below:

 

 

 

If you like this lesson plan, or have an idea to improve it, please consider sharing it on Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook or leave a comment below.

 

Feature image source: http://nharink.global2.vic.edu.au/

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