Everyone likes putting a festive twist on lessons during the approach to Christmas and I’ve been making festive computing lessons for my pupils.
I’ve recently produced a six week animation unit for Key Stage 2 (iAnimate) where the children learn about the history of animation, make their own flipping book animations, make thaumatropes and/or praxinoscopes, explore different animation techniques and, of course, design and make their own fantastic animations using apps and software.
This Christmas, I’ve put together a step-by-step computing lesson plan and teacher resources for creating an animated snowman GIF. You can download the lesson and resources and use them your own classrooms for a little festive fun!
Create an animated GIF
The lesson plan contains lots of ideas for differentiation, extension and enrichment: from making a very simple animated sequence to more able pupils:
animating backgrounds as well as characters and objects
adding 3D effects (e.g. shadows)
creating more frames for smoother movement
switching backgrounds to create scene changes
animating more than one object
A little festive flavour of what our full six week animation unit offers and another Christmas gift to you!
Here’s at iCompute Headquarters there’s nothing we like more than creating Christmas 🎄 themed resources. I’ve been having a great time designing and developing new lesson plans, tutorials and programs for this year’s festive season.
My latest offering is an absolute Christmas cracker 🎉! A coding tutorial for Microsoft Kodu. Kodu is helping Santa 🎅🏻 deliver presents on Christmas Eve but needs your pupil’s help coding him to deliver the presents 🎁 to the right houses. I’ve made a Kodu tutorial for your pupils to use that will guide them through the coding process before letting them get on with completing the activity and then having some festive fun by making it their own.
Get the lesson plan & tutorial
Another free Christmas computing resource helps your pupils get jolly 🎅🏻 good at problem solving using key computational thinking skills such as abstraction, decomposition, generalisation and pattern spotting.
Computational thinking lies at the heart of the National Curriculum for Computing and our best selling (ERA and BETT nominated) schemes of work support schools teach it creatively and well.
Grab yourself a gift 🎁 with our free stuff for Christmas. Visit www.icompute-uk.com for more free Christmas themed lesson plans and resources to support teaching primary computing.
It’s a great stepping stone from the blocks-based languages and environments your pupils may have already mastered (E.g. Scratch, App Inventor, Tynker etc) on to text-based languages.
I’ve been researching pedagogies to support computing mastery and PRIMM is a programming pedagogy developed by Dr Sue Sentence and the Computing Education team at Kings College London based on the notion that its difficult to become successful at writing code if you cannot read it.
I have created a Christmas themed step-by-step lesson plan that uses Bitsbox and I’m using the PRIMM approach for teaching programming.
PRIMM stands for Predict | Run | Investigate | Modify | Make. The approach enables teachers to support pupils by giving them some code that they first understand and then build upon towards making their own.
It’s a great way to structure a lesson and think it’ll make a real difference to those pupils who have difficulty understanding some programming concepts.
Feel free to download this lesson and try PRIMM in your own classroom.
Use the PRIMM programming approach to develop a program from a Christmas gift catching game into a new game
Challenge your pupils to design algorithms and program the game using a text-based programming language, variables and functions.
As usual, lots of opportunities for differentiation. For instance, less able pupils could use pupil support cards (see support resource which is included in the pack) and/or write a more simple version. Your more able pupils could:
change the speed, direction and size falling presents
make the game multi-player and multi-level
complete the game to a time
create Game Over functions
create sound tracks and jingles for the app
Ideas for differentiation, extension and enrichment are included in the lesson plan. Lots of opportunities to be inspired and get creative.