1, 2, 3, code ! - Cycle 1 activities - Lesson 1.3. Formative assessment: Other routes, other programs

 

Summary

The students write and interpret programs for other routes. 

Key ideas

(see Conceptual scenario)

"Machines"

  • The machines all around us simply follow "orders" (instructions)
  • By combining several simple instructions, we can perform a complex task 

"Languages"

  • To command machines, we invent and use languages
  • A program is written in a language that both humans and machines can understand.

“Algorithms”

  • A program is a combination of instructions

Equipment

For the class:

  • Handout 2 (a copy for the class or for each student, depending on the chosen method)

For each student pair

Duration

30 min


Foreword

This formative assessment aims to verify that students have understood the key ideas covered in previous lessons. It can be done orally as a class or individually. If doing it individually, plan to have one copy of Handout 2 for each student as well as one copy of Handout 3 per student pair.

 

Exercise 1 : executing a program

The teacher reviews the key ideas covered previously: a program is a sequence of instructions given to the avatar in a specific language. They suggest practicing on new programs and routes.

The teacher then passes out Handout 2 to the students. The exercise consists in executing each of the programs step by step to find where the avatar finally ends up. The avatar should start the exercise from the corner of the grid and continue on with each new program from the square where it ended up. To set the scene for the exercise, the teacher can tell students that the pixie/avatar must go to pick a flower (green route), then get water (blue route) before going home (red route).

Teaching notes:

  • For preschool students, plan to have tokens to use as the avatar and another token to keep track of where students are on the program strip. At this age, children have a hard time following both the avatar's movement and the program instructions with their finger.

  • To make sure all students start from the right point at each step, it is best to correct any errors for each route before starting the next one.

  • The red route is the most difficult, because it asks students to go back from where they came from, which can be problematic for certain students (they may wonder, “Why go back?”). Do this activity last or use it as an optional exercise.

The answers for the first exercise are here.The class takes the time to do each program step by step to check the final position.

 

Exercise 2 : Writing a program

The teacher passes out Handout 3, which asks students to write a program that will take the avatar to a destination point with an obstacle to avoid. As in the previous lesson, there are several possible programs.
 
 
 
One example is here.

If students find the exercise difficult, the teacher can have them do additional similar exercises before moving on.

 

Further study

What students learn from this lesson (right, left, moving square by square) can be applied to other activities. For example, board games use these types of instructions to move tokens along a grid (e.g., Snakes and Ladders) or in motor skills development activities.

 


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