Programming 1A Lesson Plan

Lesson: Squares, Triangles, and Staircases

Time: 80+ mins


Students navigate a racer to solve drawing puzzles that include squares, triangles, and staircases.

Tynker Blocks Introduced

  • No new blocks are introduced in this lesson.


  • No new terms are introduced in this lesson.


Students will...

  • Apply knowledge of angles to turn the racer in the correct direction
  • Identify patterns in a sequence
  • Recognize and describe patterns
  • Use "repeat" loops to create solutions


  • Computers (1 per student) with student account access to

Warm-Up (20 minutes)

  1. Draw a circle on the classroom board and divide it into four equal slices. Write "0 degrees" at the top and "90 degrees" at the right. Who remembers this circle from the previous lesson? Who can remind the class what we call a 90 degree angle? (answer: right angle)
  2. Ask, "How many degrees do I need to turn to see what's to my right?" (answer: 90 degrees right) Explain that 180 degrees is half of a full rotation. Label 180 degrees on the circle. Then ask, "How many degrees do I need to turn to see what's behind me?" (answer: 180 degrees)
  3. Say, "If I need to turn to see what's past my right, the angle needs to be larger than 90 degrees. We will explore this concept in today's Tynker puzzles."

Activities (40 minutes)

1. Use Loops (Puzzle)

  • Students can solve this puzzle by placing the "forward 400" and "turnRight 90" blocks four times, but encourage them to use the "repeat" block.
  • Explain to your students that they have to put two different code blocks inside the "repeat" block. Encourage students to work together.

2. Triangle (Puzzle)

  • Students can solve this puzzle with only "forward 400" and "turnRight 120" blocks, but encourage them to work together and use a "repeat" block.
  • Remind students to write down the steps and identify the pattern before using any code blocks.

3. Staircase Going Down (Puzzle)

  • The vertical lines of the staircase are shorter than the horizontal lines, but no "forward 100" block is provided. Tell students they will have to change one of the "forward" block numbers by left-clicking on the number and manually set the "forward" value to "100."
  • Encourage students to work together and use a "repeat" block.
  • Give students a hint: Four code blocks go inside the "repeat" block.

4. Staircase Going Up (Puzzle)

  • The racer is not facing the correct direction initially, so it should be rotated first rather than moved first. This is different from previous puzzles where the racer was initially facing the correct direction.
  • Similar to the previous puzzle, the "forward" code block has a value of 400, so students will have to change the value to trace the shorter vertical lines.

Optional Activities (20 minutes)

More Sequencing and Angle Practice:

  1. Draw simple straight-lined shapes on the classroom board (e.g., the letter "M," pentagon, trapezoid)
  2. Use your classroom eraser to take the place of the racer. As a class, figure out how many degrees you should turn your eraser to trace (or erase) each shape.
  3. To move forward, say "forward." Don't focus on assigning a forward value.

U.S. Standards

  • CCSS-ELA: MP.1, K.G.A.1, 2.G.A.1
  • CCSS-Math: MP.1, 1.OA.B.3, 1.GA.1, 1.GA.2, 2.OA.B.2, 2.NBT.A.1.A, 2.GA.1, 2.GA.2
  • CSTA: 1A-AP-09, 1A-AP-10, 1A-AP-11, 1A-AP-12, 1A-AP-14, 1A-AP-15
  • CS CA: K-2.AP.12, K-2.AP.13, K-2.AP.14, K-2.AP.16, K-2.AP.17
  • ISTE: 1.c, 1.d, 4.d, 5.c, 5.d, 7.c

U.K. Standards

Key stage 1

Pupils should be taught to:

  • understand what algorithms are, how they are implemented as programs on digital devices, and that programs execute by following precise and unambiguous instructions
  • create and debug simple programs
  • use logical reasoning to predict the behaviour of simple programs
  • use technology purposefully to create, organise, store, manipulate and retrieve digital content
  • use technology safely and respectfully, keeping personal information private; identify where to go for help and support when they have concerns about content or contact on the internet or other online technologies

Key stage 2

Pupils should be taught to:

  • design, write and debug programs that accomplish specific goals, including controlling or simulating physical systems; solve problems by decomposing them into smaller parts
  • use logical reasoning to explain how some simple algorithms work and to detect and correct errors in algorithms and programs
  • understand computer networks, including the internet; how they can provide multiple services, such as the World Wide Web, and the opportunities they offer for communication and collaboration
  • use technology safely, respectfully and responsibly; recognise acceptable/unacceptable behaviour; identify a range of ways to report concerns about content and contact
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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.
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Lesson 1
14 Slides
Lesson 2
Connect Code Blocks
34 Slides
Lesson 3
Recognize the Pattern
21 Slides
Lesson 4
Follow the Path
22 Slides
Lesson 5
21 Slides
Lesson 6
Conditional Logic
23 Slides
Lesson 7
Conditional Loops
24 Slides
Lesson 8
Draw Simple Shapes
27 Slides
Lesson 9
Squares, Triangles, and Staircases
20 Slides
Lesson 10
Sequencing Review
24 Slides
Lesson 11
Use Repeat Loops
25 Slides
Lesson 12
Complete Multiple Tasks in Order
24 Slides