Grade Levels: 6-8, 9-12

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This lesson accompanies the BrainPOP topic Functions, and supports the standard of identifying where there is potential to use a function to create a reusable computation.  Students demonstrate understanding through a variety of creative projects.


Step 1: ACTIVATE PRIOR KNOWLEDGE

Prompt students to think of a time they had to teach someone how to do something. Ask students: What are some ways that can help you simplify your instructions? 

Step 2: BUILD BACKGROUND

  • 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: “Quirky Stuff” or “In Practice.” Partner them with someone who read a different article to share what they learned with each other.

Step 3: APPLY
Students synthesize their ideas and express them through one or more of the following creative projects. They can work individually or collaborate.  

  • Make-a-Movie: Create a commercial promoting the benefits of using functions when coding. Remember to explain how to use them.
  • Make-a-Map: Determine statements to declare functions for an everyday process, like making a sandwich. Show how you can condense any repetitive  “code.” 
  • Creative Coding: Code a comic where characters discuss an example of using functions in everyday life. 

Step 4: REFLECT & ASSESS 

Reflect: After sharing creative projects with each other, students reflect on what they’ve learned about functions. Prompt them by asking questions such as: 

  • Why is writing down dance steps a good comparison to writing code?
  • How are functions similar to variables? How are they different? 
  • How do functions make writing code quicker and easier to edit?  

Assess: Wrap up the lesson with the Functions Challenge

Step 5:  EXTEND LEARNING

Practice using concepts like variables, loops, and more with coding games, including Run Marco!

Dive deeply into computer programming with BrainPOP’s collection of Computer Science and Coding topics, games, and teacher resources.

Lesson Plan Common Core State Standards Alignments

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