Thursday, November 3, 2016

Storytelling Coding

The children continue to express an interest in coding so in order to capitalize on this, I asked them to think about some fun obstacles that they might like to encounter if they could have an adventurous walk to school.

They thought it would be fun to walk through a forest, jump over a lake, move through a city, and go around hot lava! I printed realistic over head pictures after doing a google search and we placed them under our clear plexiglass coding board so they could be easily seen.

The children decided where home was and indicated this with a little wooden house. We used an overhead picture of a school and decided this was the end point. The children decided where the obstacles would be and these were placed underneath the clear coding grid.

One child was the player and another was the programmer. The player was moved around the board based on coding directions from the programmer. The programmer was able to help the player move with the commands 'go up', 'go down', 'go left', 'go right' and 'jump'. We decided quickly that other commands like 'swim' might be fun to try as well!

It was fun to observe the children program the child around the obstacles.

They weren't interested in a clear path to school and instead led each other on whimsical journeys around the board, jumping over water and coming close to the hot lava, even when it wasn't anywhere near the school!

An extension we'd like to try next is to use a favourite read aloud and encourage the children to create the setting and characters for the text. Once they do they can use the coding board to retell the story by mapping out the character's journey through pictures depicting the setting!


  1. Hi, I'm following your coding blogs with great interest. I used the Hallowe'en template with my Kindergarteners and they loved it. I didn't know much about coding, and had read some things about it which I didn't find helpful. Your blogs showed me that I can do it. Thank you for that! There is something I don't understand: what exactly does "jump" mean? I thought it might be "go that way but skip one", but looking at the pictures I don't think that's right. Thank you! - Uli Licht, Kindergarten teacher

  2. Great! Both the learning and teaching should be extremely important and generally go together, but sometimes it will be easily argued that learning is more important than teaching.


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