Learning to code isn’t something that you have to wait for your children to get older to do. I have been working on coding with my kindergarten and first grade students. We started by exploring what an algorithm is. They were told an algorithm is the series of steps needed to complete a task. There have been several activities we have used to learn about algorithm. I shared the walking and building an algorithm coding activity with you last week. This week I want to share with you the Going on a Bear Hunt algorithm coding lesson we did just a short time ago.
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We started by reading the book We’re Going on a Bear Hunt. The kids loved the rhythm and repetition found in this book. Many had learned hand signs to going with each area the family encountered in the book. After coming to a consensus as to which hand signs we would use, I reread the book while they make the signs.
After we had read the book twice, I passed out a copy of a story grid that I had made. We talked about how we were going to create an algorithm on the grid that followed the events of the story.
We started at the house of the family in the book. Then I asked a student to share with me if we needed to go up, down, left or right to get to the field. When we had decided that we needed to go up, we talked about how many squares we needed to go up. They drew an arrow in the square between the house and the field.
From the field we talked about the direction we needed to go to get to the stream. After deciding to go up, they drew arrows in the squares between the field and the stream. We continue creating an algorithm that would ultimately lead us all the way to the bear.
As you probably noticed in the pictures above, JDaniel worked on this activity at home with me too. He does a great job of letting me know if an activity works and if it is fun before I try it with my students at school.