At BrainPOP, we believe in the importance of developing systems thinking in kids and laying the foundation for computer programming skills. This week, we debuted both Blockly: Maze and Turtle Academy on GameUp just in time for December’s Hour of Code, an opportunity for every student to try computer science for one hour.
Turtle Academy introduces students to the popular programming language Logo. Developed as an educational tool in the 1960s, Logo is a graphic-based computer language that allows students to move a triangular “turtle” to create line graphics in predictable ways. As they successfully complete basic levels, students will encounter more and more complex Logo tasks and commands. You can use the Turtle Academy lesson plan and tips and tricks to help you plan ways to use this game with students.
Blockly: Maze was created by Google. It teaches students the concepts behind simple computer programming with a graphical editing tool that uses blocks instead of typed characters. Players will learn to drag blocks together to build a simple web application. Running the app, students must instruct a character to move properly through a maze in order to reach a specified target. As they succeed in early levels, they will advance to more and more complicated tasks. Blockly: Maze is a wonderful tool to use as a primer for basic coding: check out our Blockly: Maze lesson plan and essential questions for implementation ideas.
Be sure to visit Code.org for more resources on teaching computer programming and coding to children.