Grade Levels: 3-5, 6-8

*Click to open and customize your own copy of the Computational Thinking Lesson Plan.

This lesson accompanies the BrainPOP topic Computational Thinking, and supports the standard of identifying patterns in large data sets and using mathematical concepts to support explanations and arguments. Students demonstrate understanding through a variety of creative projects.

Step 1: ACTIVATE PRIOR KNOWLEDGE

Display an image of a puzzle that can be solved with an algorithm, like these:

 

 

 

 

 


Ask students: 

  • What’s the first thing you do when solving a puzzle? 
  • How can you describe the steps to solving the puzzle?  

Step 2: BUILD KNOWLEDGE

  • Read aloud the description below the Movie player.
  • Play the Movie, pausing to check for understanding. 
  • Have students read one of the following Related Reading articles: “The Modern World” or “Language”. Partner them with someone who read a different article to share what they learned with each other.

Step 3: APPLY and ASSESS 

Students take the Computational Thinking Quiz, applying essential literacy skills while demonstrating what they learned about this topic.

Step 4: DEEPEN and EXTEND

Students express what they learned about computational thinking while practicing essential literacy skills with one or more of the following activities. Differentiate by assigning ones that meet individual student needs.

  • Make-a-Movie: Create a tutorial explaining how to use computational thinking to decrease the time it takes you to run a mile. 
  • Make-a-Map: Make a concept map identifying and defining the steps of computational thinking.
  • Creative Coding: Code a newscast about how computational thinking solved a problem. 

More to Explore

Blockly: Maze: Build a simple computer application by programming “tag” blocks to reach your target.

Code Combat: Ogre Encounter: Fight ogres and gather gems as you code your way through the Kithgard Dungeon!

Teacher Support Resources:

Lesson Plan Common Core State Standards Alignments

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