Lesson Plan

Lesson: Pen Drawing
Time: 45+ mins


Let's get artsy! In this lesson, campers will learn how to broadcast and send messages to Actors while creating fun projects and solving a puzzle. Additionally, they'll learn how to create their own Paint Program project by using Pen tools. Coding concepts include messages and pen tools.

Code Blocks

  • : Start the program when the play button is selected.
  • : Point the Actor towards the parameter (e.g., mouse-pointer, touch location).
  • : Pick up the pen to stop drawing on the Stage.
  • : Put the pen down to draw on the Stage.
  • : Set the pen’s color to the specified color.
  • : React when the specified parameter is detected.
  • : Make the Actor repeat this loop while the condition is true.
  • : Move the Actor a specified number of units.
  • : Pause the program for a specific number of seconds.


  • Coding: Using a computer language to tell the computer what to do
  • Sequence: The order in which steps or events happen
  • Actors: Tynker characters and objects that can talk and interact with each other
  • Command: A specific action or instruction that tells the computer to do something
  • Loop: An action that repeats one or more commands a specific number of times
  • Condition: A logical expression that evaluates to true or false
  • Conditional statement: A type of statement that executes different parts of the code based on whether a logical expression evaluates to true or false


Students will...
  • Use code blocks to broadcast and send messages
  • Use the Pen tools
  • Apply coding concepts to solve a puzzle
  • Create a Paint Program project

Getting Started (5 minutes)

  • Ask if anyone has used a paint program to draw on a computer screen or mobile device. Next, ask campers if they've ever thought about the programming that makes the lines appear as they draw. Point out that in today's lesson they're going to learn how to program Actors to draw colored lines and broadcast messages to other Actors to draw shapes on the screen!

Activities (45 minutes)

Facilitate as students complete all Pen Drawing modules on their own:
1. Concepts (Video)
  • A friendly superhero introduces two coding concepts:
    • Messages - Campers will learn that they can send a message to an Actor using a "when I receive" code block. In contrast, a "broadcast" code block will broadcast a message to all Actors in the program.
    • Pen Tool - Campers will learn about the different code blocks they can use to program Actors to draw.
2. Plane Colors (Tutorial)
  • In this tutorial, campers will learn how to use the Pen blocks to make a jet Actor draw on the Stage.
  • Coding activities include programming the jet to point towards the mouse-pointer (for web) or user's touch location (for mobile), using the "move" code block to move the jet 5 units forward, and programming the jet to switch costumes and colors.
  • Make sure campers are reading the instructions carefully. Were they able to program the jet to draw when the mouse was down (for web) or while they were touching the screen (for mobile)?
3. Plane Squares (Tutorial)
  • In this tutorial, campers will learn how to program a superhero to send messages to jets that will draw squares.
  • Activities include programming the superhero to broadcast a message to the jets, programming the jets to receive the broadcasted message, setting the pen to write on the screen, and adding the code to make the jets draw different colored squares.
  • After campers finish programming their project, ask them to test it out by clicking (for web) or tapping (for mobile) the superhero to make the planes draw squares. Did each plane draw different color squares?
4. Color Match (Puzzle)
  • To solve this puzzle module, campers need to program three ships to navigate a path by broadcasting messages.
  • Remind campers that the "broadcast" code block sends a message to all of the Actors. Also point out that the ship's color must match the color of the orb. Can they collect all 6 orbs to win?
  • Give a hint: Ask campers…
    • What color does the first "broadcast" block need to be set to? (Answer: Purple.)
    • How many "broadcast forward" blocks do we need to use each time the ship reaches a different color? (Answer: Two.)
    • What direction does the ship need to turn after it finishes collecting the purple orbs? (Answer: Turn left.)
5. Make Your Own Paint Program (DIY)
  • In this DIY (do-it-yourself) project, campers will follow step-by-step directions to create their own paint program that uses different buttons to activate different colors, shapes, and settings.
  • Coding activities include adding a background, programming the pen to draw when the mouse is held down (for web) or user is touching the screen (for mobile), and programming buttons that control the paint color and change the shade of the paint.
  • If campers finish early, have them extend the program or ask them to draw fun creations using their paint program! If they need ideas on what to draw, here are some ideas: animals (for example, panda, cat, dog, pig), food (pizza, ice cream, cake), abstract art. What about adding a new button that clears the screen?


Unplugged Activity: Discussion
Review today’s coding adventure by leading a discussion. Ask campers:
  • What is something you drew using your paint program? Did anyone draw their pet or create abstract art?
  • What are some advantages to drawing on paper compared to using a digital paint program? Can anyone think of disadvantages?
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Class Presentations

These student-facing slide presentations help educators seamlessly run Tynker lessons in a virtual or physical classroom setting. Each lesson has its own set of slides that introduce the big ideas, suggest unplugged activities, and include a section for each activity module. While running lesson slides, you can switch back and forth between the activity, the slides, answer keys and other lesson materials.
A sample slide presentation is available for your review. Please log in to view all the class presentations available with your plan..
Lesson 1
40 Slides
Lesson 2
Lights, Music, Action
23 Slides
Lesson 3
Frame-based Animation
26 Slides
Lesson 4
2D Motion
23 Slides
Lesson 5
Pen Drawing
23 Slides
Lesson 6
Alien Catcher
26 Slides
Lesson 7
Space Breaker
22 Slides
Lesson 8
Fish Tank
19 Slides
Lesson 9
Make Games - Animated Greeting Card
17 Slides
Lesson 10
Make Games - Music Video
15 Slides
Lesson 11
Make Games - Maze Game
18 Slides
Lesson 12
Make Games - 2-Player Battle Game
17 Slides
Lesson 13
Make Games - Animated Story
16 Slides
Lesson 14
Level Design
23 Slides