1, 2, 3, code ! - Cycle 2 activities

The theme that ties the Cycle 2 activities together is an adventure.

 

We suggest splitting the activities into two sequences:

  • The first is entirely unplugged (done without a computer but with experimentation and documentary equipment). This sequence sets the stage for an adventure during which a hero must successfully overcome various challenges before he can return home. The students will learn about the key ideas of algorithm, language, and data representation (texts and images).
  • The second is entirely plugged (requiring a tablet, computer or robot). This second sequence can be any of the following:
    • Sequence IIa involves programming on a tablet (using Scratch Junior). This sequence (which we recommend as the default option) tells the hero's adventure through animation. The students will be introduced to programming by using a graphic environment designed for young children.
    • Sequence IIb is a variation of Sequence IIa, for classes without tablets but which do have computers (using Scratch rather than Scratch Junior). It should be noted that if the school is equipped to choose between the above two options, we strongly suggest opting for Sequence IIa (Scratch Junior), which is both better suited to this age group and easier to use.
    • Sequence III has students program a robot (Thymio) using the same concepts as programming a computer or tablet, but applied to a physical object (the robot). Please note: contrary to Sequence IIa or IIb, in this sequence, programming the robot is completely unrelated to the adventure told in Sequence I.

 

Lessons summary

Sequence I: The adventure 

 

Lesson

Title

Summary

Lesson 1

The hero's journey

The hero awakes in an unknown world in the great outdoors. A journey awaits where he must travel down the mountain he finds himself on. Students must guide him with conditional constructs.

Lesson 2

Decoding a message

At the end of this perilous journey, the hero must solve a riddle carved on a tree trunk. Students understand that it is a coded message. To help the hero, they must decode the message to understand its meaning.

Lesson 3

Programming a route

The hero cannot reach the treasure at the bottom of the sea, but he finds a small submarine. The students must invent a language to pilot it remotely.

Lesson 4

Summoning the magician

The hero must summon a magician by asking for help from the birds. To do this, he must create a drawing on the ground using white and black rocks. The students learn how to pixelate an image in black and white.

Lesson 5

(Optional) Following a recipe

Thanks to the magician, the hero will be able to create the magic recipe. The students must analyze the structure of the recipe to find the elements for an algorithm.

Lesson 6

(Optional) Building a magic key

The hero can return home. Before he leaves, the magician gives him a magic key that will let him come back. The students must describe the algorithm that will let him duplicate this key.

 

Sequence II-a: Telling the adventure with Scratch Junior

 

Séance

Titre

Résumé

Lesson 1

Getting started with Scratch Junior

The students are introduced to Scratch Junior, an easy-to-use graphic programming environment for children ages 5 to 8. They explore the ways to control a character's movements.

Lesson 2

The first episode: Choosing the hero and controlling his movements

Students tell an episode of their hero's adventure. While they do so, they learn the new functionalities of Scratch Junior (deleting a character, importing a new character, choosing a setting) and are exposed to the key ideas from the previous lessons (set of instructions, event).

Lesson 3

Simplifying a program by using loops

The students continue learning to use Scratch Junior by exploring the instruction "repeat...," which is a loop. They practice anticipating what a program given to them will do, combining loops and movement instructions. Finally, they revise their initial program by replacing the repeated instructions with loops.

Lesson 4

Coordinating several scripts

Students tell a new episode of their hero's adventure, with more autonomy than in the first lessons. They discover new functionalities in Scratch Junior and deepen their understanding of what a set of instructions and a program are.

Lesson 5

Predefined loops and infinite loops

Students tell a new episode of their hero's adventure. They reinforce the key ideas from the previous lessons, namely predefined loops, and learn about infinite loops.

Lesson 6

Adding recorded dialogues to the program

Students learn to record character dialogues.

Lesson 7

Producing the final episode autonomously

Students work on their own to tell the last episode of their hero's adventure. They cover the key ideas from the entire sequence and finish their program.

 

Sequence II-b : Alternative with Scratch

 

Séance

Titre

Résumé

Lesson 1

Introduction to the Scratch programming environment

Students are introduced to Scratch, an easy-to-use graphic programming environment.

Lesson 2

Making a character move

Students explore the ways to control a character's movements.

Lesson 3

Choosing the hero and controlling his movements

Students tell the first episode of their hero's adventure, where he comes out of the forest and follows the river to the sea. During this time, they cover the key ideas from the previous lesson (set of instructions, event), learn about the idea of initialization and use predefined loops ("repeat…").

Lesson 4

Programming several sprites

The students tell another episode of the hero's adventure, where he sees the treasure at the bottom of the sea and gets help to retrieve it. To do this, students learn to load a new stage, add a sprite and cover the key programming ideas from the first two lessons.

Lesson 5

Coordinating the first two episodes

Students must figure out how to make the two first episodes continue one after the other. To do this, they learn the key idea of message: a message can be sent during an instruction, and when the message is received, it can trigger one or more instructions.

Lesson 6

Different types of loops

Students tell the next episode of the hero's adventure: the octopus goes to the bottom of the sea to get the treasure and bring it back to the surface. They reinforce the key ideas from the previous lessons, namely predefined loops, and learn about infinite loops.

Lesson 7

Producing the final episode autonomously

Students work on their own to tell the last episode of their hero's adventure. They cover the key ideas from the entire sequence and finish their program.

 

Séquence III : Robotics

 

Séance

Titre

Résumé

Lessons 1, 2, 3: Introduction to Thymio in Cycle 2

Students are introduced to the Thymio robot and familiarize themselves with it. After exploring the various pre-programmed modes, they have Thymio run a maze. They gradually formulate a simple definition of what a robot is.

(Adaptation of the four first lessons of the "Robotics in Cycle 1" sequence, pages XX and on)

Lesson 4

Programming Thymio (1/2)

To go into more depth with Thymio, students discover the Aseba/VPL programming environment. The graphic interface lets them design their own programs for Thymio.

Lesson 5

Understanding sensors to program Thymio 

VPL programming for Thymio is event-driven: students will learn how to use Thymio's sensor status to trigger precise actions.

Lesson 6

Programming Thymio (2/2)

Students take on small challenges to create their own VPL programs for Thymio.

Lessons 7 et 8: Obstacle course for Thymio

Students must reproduce Thymio's yellow "explorer" mode. First, they write the program. Then, they test their program in a real maze.

 

Conceptual scenario « Cycle 2 computer science »

The key ideas covered during these four sequences for Cycle 2 can be organized as follows.

 

 


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