Grade Levels: 3-5, 6-8, 9-12

In this lesson plan, adaptable for grades 3-12, students explore BrainPOP resources to learn about topics related to computer coding. Then they’ll show what they know about the topic by completing one of BrainPOP’s four Creative Coding projects.

Lesson Plan Common Core State Standards Alignments

Students will:

  1. Brainstorm what they know about the topic.
  2. Take notes about an assigned topic using Make-a-Map.
  3. Complete a Creative Coding project.
  4. Present their project to a small group.

Materials:

Preparation:

Preview the movie to plan for any adaptations.

Lesson Procedure:

  1. Share with students the BrainPOP Computer Coding topic they will be learning about today by reading aloud (or have a volunteer read aloud) the full description that appears at the bottom of a topic page.
  2. Display a Brainstorming Web on the whiteboard. Write the title of the Computer Programming topic in the center of the web (e.g., Variables, Functions, etc.). Ask students what they know about the topic. Encourage them to share whatever comes to mind. Jot down their ideas on the web.
  3. Show the movie on the whiteboard for the whole class. Turn on closed captions for accessibility. Pause for featured vocabulary.
  4. Next, divide the class into groups of four. Use the Assign tool to assign a different Creative Coding project to each student in the group. At their own computers or devices, instruct students to open their assigned Creative Coding project and read the prompt at the top.
  5. Working independently, have students open the Make-a-Map feature within the movie. As they watch, have them take notes responding to the prompt for their Creative Coding project. For example, in the Variables topic, the meme project prompts students to explain how variables simplify code. As they watch the movie, students should create a concept map that identifies ways that variables simplify code.
  6. After students complete their maps, have them keep their map open in one window and open their assigned Creative Coding project in another window. Using their notes from their concept maps, have students code their projects.
  7. Circulate as students are working on their coding projects, providing help as needed.
  8. When everyone has completed their coding projects, have the small groups of four come together to present their Creative Coding projects. After each presentation, encourage students to ask the presenter questions.

Extension Activities:

 
  • Invite students with same assigned projects from different small groups to compare and contrast how their coding projects. How are they alike? How do they differ?
  • Students can test their coding smarts by challenging themselves to the topic’s quiz or taking the associated Challenge.
  • Use the Assign tool to assign a different FYI to each student in the small group. Instruct students to read their assigned FYI, then share a summary of what they learned to their small group.