Sequencing the events in a favorite childhood book like The Snowy Day is a great way to teach children how to code. Why? Children build algorithms or a series of steps to get from the start of the story to the end. They can refer to the pictures and text in a children book to verify the sequence of events in a story. Teaching kids to code through children books really is fun!
This teaching kids to code printable was designed to use with my kindergarten classes in the computer lab. It would also be great to use with preschoolers and first graders. The Snowy Day is a book that children in grades PreK thru first grade really enjoy.
Getting the Teaching Kids to Code Printable
The Snowy Day Algorithm Coding Activity is free to download. While it was designed to be printed out in color, you can print it out in black and white.
Other Supplies You will Need for This Activity
Your children will also need a least one copy of the book The Snowy Day. They can use it to check to make sure that their algorithm has the events in the right sequence. The only other thing your children will need is pencil!
Getting Started with the Activity
You can start by telling your children that an algorithm is the series of events needed to complete or come to the end of a task. Today they will be creating an algorithm that will connect the events in the story The Snowy Day. They will start at the beginning of the story and go all the way to the end.
Next, your children will need to place an up arrow in the box in the bottom left-hand corner of the printable. Then they will need to decide if the next event mentioned in the book is making snow angels or making footprints. You can have them look in the book to remind themselves which event comes next if they like. The next event is making footprints so they will draw an arrow pointing up in the box above the start box. Then they will need to draw an arrow pointing to the right in the box two boxes above the start box.
Your children will continue placing an arrow pointing up, down, left or right in the boxes that connect the events in order. They will discover that there are several different paths that can be used to connect some of the events. You will want to encourage them to create the shortest paths possible. Why? In real life, coders try to create algorithms with short rather than long coding sequences.
Here are some more story themed coding printables: