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This lesson accompanies the BrainPOP topic Variables, and supports the standard of identifying and manipulating variables in an algorithm. Students demonstrate understanding through a variety of creative projects.

Step 1: ACTIVATE PRIOR KNOWLEDGE

Display an example of a thank-you note, like this one:

Dear Cassie,

Thank you so much for celebrating my 8th grade graduation with me.

You made it a truly special occasion.

I also wanted to thank you for the wonderful chemistry set.

It is such a thoughtful gift.

MOBY

Ask: what do you think is the variable in this thank you card? HINT: What changes in the card depending on who you’re sending it to?

Step 2: BUILD BACKGROUND

• Read aloud the description on the Variables topic page
• Play the Movie, pausing to check for understanding.
• Have students read one of the following Related Reading articles: “Language” 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 for a Coding service that promotes the use of variables in computer programming. Give real-life examples of when you might use them.
• Make-a-Map: Make a concept map that outlines a process where a variable might be helpful. Declare and initialize the variable, then “code” the process.
• Creative Coding: Code a sorting game where players determine whether variables could be used to make different situations more efficient or not.

Step 4: REFLECT & ASSESS

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

• Describe a situation in which variables would be beneficial.
• How might you troubleshoot code for variable errors?
• Why is order important when coding with variables?

Assess: Wrap up the lesson with the Variables Quiz

Step 5:  Extend Learning

Practice using concepts like variables, loops, and more with coding games, including Blockly: Maze and 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

Filed as:  3-5, 6-8, 9-12, BrainPOP, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.3.1, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.3.3, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.4.1, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.4.3, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.4.7, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.5.3