Programming 201 Lesson Plan

Lesson: Pop the Balloon
Time: 60+ mins


This lesson is poppin’! Students will create a balloon popping game by programming explosions and using random numbers. Note: Some modules in this lesson include a listening component, so headphones (1 per student) are recommended.

New Code Blocks

  • None


  • None


Students will...
  • Use code block to create a balloon popping game
  • Use code blocks to send and receive messages between Actors


  • Computers, laptops, or mobile devices (1 per student) with student account access to
  • Headphones (1 per student)

Warm-Up (15 minutes)

  • As a class, review code blocks. Ask students, “What does the _____ code block do?” Here is a list of recommended code blocks to review, which students will also see in today’s lesson: wait, forever, repeat, next costume, play sound.

Activities (45 minutes)

Facilitate as students complete all Pop the Balloon modules on their own:
1. Pop the Balloon Example (Example)
  • Students will view a popping game where they will need to select the “Start” button, then click (web) or tap (mobile) the balloon to pop it!
  • This module showcases two essential features: a “Start” button that begins the action, and an animated response (i.e., the balloon popping) to user input.
2. Pop the Balloon (DIY)
  • In this DIY (do-it-yourself) project, students will follow step-by-step directions to program a simple balloon popping game!
  • Note: In this module, the balloon can be popped before receiving the "start" message. Your students will improve the game in the next module!
3. Improve the Balloon Game (DIY)
  • In this DIY project, students will improve their balloon game by programming the balloon to appear in a random spot on the Stage after it’s popped!
  • Without adding much code, your students can dramatically improve the game they made in the previous module. By using a “go to” block combined with a costume change, the balloon can suddenly reappear back near the ground, ready to be popped again!
  • Emphasize to students that the “go to” block has a randomized x-position, but a set y-position. This ensures that the balloon starts at the same level, ready to float up.
4. Color Catch (Puzzle)
  • To solve this puzzle module, students will need to code the alien to switch between the four different colored costumes when the colored buttons are pressed.
  • The alien needs to be the same color as the orb in order to catch it. Collect 7 orbs to win!
5. Get the Ghost Example (Example)
  • Students will view a ghost catching game, then they will create their own version in the next module!
  • Tell students to click (web) or tap (mobile) the ghosts to catch it!
6. Get the Ghost (DIY)
  • In this DIY project, students will program an endless ghost catching game! Activities include making the ghost appear randomly around the Stage and programming the ghost to disappear and reappear.
  • Did students finish early? Direct their attention to the bonus section in “Step 5/5” of the tutorial, which encourages students to use a variable to track how many ghosts have been caught!
7. Bombs Away Example (Example)
  • Students will view a falling bomb catching game, and then will create their own version in the next module!
  • Tell students to click (web) or tap (mobile) the ghosts to catch it!
8. Bombs Away (DIY)
  • In this DIY project, students will program another clicking game where bombs fall from the sky and explode when clicked (web) or tapped (mobile) on!

Extended Activities (20 minutes)

Make it Spooky!
  • Ask students to revisit their “Get the Ghost” project and add spooky background music and sound effects for when the ghost is clicked (web) or tapped (mobile) on. What other ways can they improve their game?

U.S. Standards

  • CCSS-Math: 5.G.A.1, 5.G.A.2, 6.NS.C.5, 6.NS.C.6, MP.1
  • CCSS-ELA: RF.5.4.A, 6-8.RST.3, 6-8.RST.4, 6-8.RST.7
  • CSTA: 1B-AP-10, 1B-AP-11, 1B-AP-12, 1B-AP-15, 2-AP-11, 2-AP-12, 2-AP-13, 2-AP-16, 2-AP-17
  • CS CA: 3-5.AP.10, 3-5.AP.11, 3-5.AP.12, 3-5.AP.13, 3-5.AP.14, 3-5.AP.17, 6-8.AP.11, 6-8.AP.12, 6-8.AP.13, 6-8.AP.16, 6-8.AP.17
  • ISTE: 1.c, 1.d, 4.d, 5.c, 5.d, 6.b

U.K. Standards

National Curriculum of England (Computing)
Key Stage 2:
  • Design, write and debug programs that accomplish specific goals, including controlling or simulating physical systems; solve problems by decomposing them into smaller parts
  • Use sequence, selection, and repetition in programs; work with variables and various forms of input and output
  • Use logical reasoning to explain how some simple algorithms work and to detect and correct errors in algorithms and programs
Key Stage 3:
  • Design, use, and evaluate computational abstractions that model the state and behaviour of real-world problems and physical systems
  • Understand several key algorithms that reflect computational thinking (for example, ones for sorting and searching); use logical reasoning to compare the utility of alternative algorithms for the same problem
  • Use two or more programming languages, at least one of which is textual, to solve a variety of computational problems; make appropriate use of data structures (for example, lists, tables, or arrays); design and develop modular programs that use procedures or functions
  • Understand simple Boolean logic (for example, AND, OR, and NOT) and some of its uses in circuits and programming; understand how numbers can be represented in binary, and be able to carry out simple operations on binary numbers (for example, binary addition, and conversion between binary and decimal)
  • Understand how instructions are stored and executed within a computer system; understand how data of various types (including text, sounds, and pictures) can be represented and manipulated digitally, in the form of binary digits
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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
27 Slides
Lesson 2
Loops and Animation
19 Slides
Lesson 3
Creating a Scene
21 Slides
Lesson 4
Jumping over Obstacles
20 Slides
Lesson 5
23 Slides
Lesson 6
User Interaction
19 Slides
Lesson 7
Guessing Game
22 Slides
Lesson 8
20 Slides
Lesson 9
Alien Invaders
17 Slides
Lesson 10
Music and Animation
18 Slides
Lesson 11
Instruments and Tempo
19 Slides
Lesson 12
Broadcasting Messages
18 Slides
Lesson 13
Time Limits
17 Slides
Lesson 14
Message Driven Programming
18 Slides
Lesson 15
Pop the Balloon
18 Slides
Lesson 16
Animation with Movement
18 Slides
Lesson 17
Obstacle Course
19 Slides