Teaching Kids to Code with Codeacademy: An ICT Lesson Plan for the Next Generation

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Summary of Lesson Plan:

In this lesson plan, students use the web app available in the Chrome App store called Codeacademy. You can install it and then get started after signing up pretty easily. With the new curriculum introducing coding at an earlier stage, this app is a must for any teacher (no skills in coding required). The app allows students to go through the basics of coding and developing a website and learning the html behind it. Get your kids onto it today and let them learn.

Australian Curriculum Links:

Year 5 and 6 Digital Technologies:
  • Design a user interface for a digital system, generating and considering alternative designs (ACTDIP018)
  • Design, modify and follow simple algorithms represented diagrammatically and in English involving sequences of steps, branching, and iteration (repetition)(ACTDIP019)
  • Implement digital solutions as simple visual programs involving branching,iteration (repetition), and user input (ACTDIP020)
  • Manage the creation and communication of ideas and information including online collaborative projects, applying agreed ethical, social and technical protocols(ACTDIP022)
Year 5 and 6 Creating with ICT:
  • Design and modify simple digital solutions, or multimodal creative outputs or data transformations for particular audiences and purposes following recognised conventions
  • Design, modify and manage complex digital solutions, or multimodal creative outputs or data transformations for a range of audiences and purposes

Lesson Plan Sequence:

Introduction:
  • Once the web app is installed on each computer that the children are using, open it up on a computer that is connected to a large display (E.g. Smartboard, Interactive TV, etc).
  • Ask the kids…
    • “Have you ever wondered how Google was created?”
    • “What’s your favourite website?”
  • After a bit of discussion, explain to them that most websites, games and applications that they use today are developed with this thing called ‘code’… HTML code (Hypertext Markup Language).
  • Explain to them that today they are going to begin their journey to learn how to code using Codeacademy and that you are going to show them where to start. The journey is theirs though and they can go through it at their own pace.
  • Go back to your computer and show the students how to log in with a Google+ account or an email address.
  • Start them off by showing them how the Academy works (pretty easy, just have a go before you teach them) and then let them go!
Body:
  • Children working independently and collaboratively on Codeacademy. As a teacher, don’t give them the answers! Let them discuss with their peers and work it out. The discussions and advice that they will undertake will astound you.

Conclusion:

  • Wrap the session up with about 10 minutes to go and reflect on what the children have done today. I find it really great to get them to send you an email with responses to questions like the ones below:
    • What are three coding examples you can explain and show me?
    • What does HTML stand for?
    • What was something you found challenging?
    • What was something you found easy?
    • If you were the teacher, what would you do next? (A great one to gauge where the kids need to head to and gets them to think about their learning journey).
  • Another option would be to use Socrative to collect student responses. To see how it works, watch the video below:

Assessment:

  • Create an anecdotal checklist to gauge participation and collaboration with peers.
  • The Codeacademy will track the students’ progress, get them to send you a screen shot of where they are up to in the course.
  • Use student email to get individual responses.

Resources:

 

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