« Middle School Courses
This course is included with our Coding/STEAM Curriculum - Middle School Plan

A hands-on, project-based introduction to micro:bit programming using Tynker Blocks with instructions to build 16 unique micro:bit projects.

  • Grades 3 - 5
  • Intermediate
  • Web iPad

Description

Introduce your class to physical computing with micro:bit and Tynker Blocks. The micro:bit is a tiny, microcomputer with programmable LEDs, light, and temperature sensors, physical connection pins, motion sensors, and wireless communication via radio and Bluetooth. Hands-on learning with Tynker’s curriculum engages students as they see their abstract programs come to life on a tangible physical device.

Using a combination of interactive lessons, concept explanations, videos, puzzles, quizzes, and DIY projects, this course teaches students to write block coding programs and then deploy the code to the micro:bit wirelessly. Students can use code to program physical buttons, display messages on the micro:bit, animate the LEDs, simulate dice and coin flips, and detect gestures and shakes.

The lesson plans in this course build and reinforce engineering, math, and science skills, while applying programming concepts such as repetition, events, conditional logic, variables, and functions with a physical computing device.

Each lesson is designed for a class period of 45-60 minutes. All student work is automatically tracked and assessed, and you'll be able to monitor individual progress and mastery charts for your students.

This course is recommended for students who are just starting to get familiar with block programming. More advanced students who are familiar with Python may enroll in MicroPython 101 where they use MicroPython, a Python-like text-based programming language to program micro:bit.

This course is supported online as well as on an iPad through the Tynker app.

Recommended Accessories: This course requires micro:bit devices (not included). You may purchase these separately at a variety of resellers or consider buying the classroom pack from Tynker.

Topics

  • micro:bit command library
  • Variables
  • Deploying code to the micro:bit
  • Types of loops
  • Reading sensor values
  • Conditional logic
  • Programming the LED grid
  • Lists and arrays

What Students Learn

  • Program micro:bit button-click events
  • Display a scrolling message on the micro:bit
  • Create animated LED displays using loops
  • Simulate a coin toss using conditional logic
  • Create a virtual die using random numbers
  • Detect gestures using the motion sensor
  • Learn to use math operators and expressions

Technical Requirements

* Online courses require a modern desktop computer, laptop computer, Chromebook, or Netbook with Internet access and a Chrome (29+), Firefox (30+), Safari (7+), or Edge (20+) browser. No downloads required.
* Tablet courses require an iPad (iOS 10+) with Tynker or Tynker Junior app installed and Internet access

micro:bit 101 Lesson Plan

Lesson: Ahoy!
Time: 45+ mins

Introduction

Welcome to Tynker's micro:bit 101 course! This pirate-themed course contains 8 exciting lessons that will teach your students how to program a micro:bit, which is a small (yet powerful) computer. As students progress through the course, they'll create a variety of projects while reinforcing coding concepts. Note: Students will likely encounter a situation where their micro:bit does not work as expected, so they'll need to troubleshoot. The problem could be caused by human error (e.g., forgetting to attach the USB) or the device.

In this lesson, students will become familiar with the different parts of their micro:bit such as the LED display, buttons, battery, and sensors. Additionally, they'll learn how to program and run their first micro:bit project!

New Code Blocks

  • : Start the program when the play button is selected.
  • : Show the specified message on the micro:bit's LED screen.
  • : Run the code attached to this block when the specified button (e.g., A, B, A+B) is pressed.

Vocabulary

  • Coding: Using a computer language to tell the computer what to do
  • Sequence: The order in which steps or events happen
  • Command: A specific action or instruction that tells the computer to do something
  • micro:bit: A small computer that can run commands
  • LED: Acronym for "light emitting diode," which is a source of light
  • Accelerometer: A device that detects motions such as shaking and tilting

Objectives

Students will...
  • Identify different parts of the micro:bit
  • Apply coding concepts to solve a puzzle module
  • Use the "button is pressed" and "say" code blocks to display text and numbers

Materials

  • micro:bit device (recommended 1 per student)
  • USB cords
  • Computers, laptops, or Chromebooks (1 per student) with student account access to Tynker.com

Warm-Up (5 minutes)

Tell students that they're going to learn how to program their micro:bit today using Tynker! Prepare students for today's lesson by helping them understand how to program their micro:bit. For example:
  • Step 1: Use code blocks to write your code
  • Step 2: Plug your micro:bit into the battery or the USB connector
  • Step 3: Click the play button
  • Step 4: When the menu appears, select your micro:bit
  • Step 5: Test to see if your program runs on your micro:bit

Activities (45 minutes)

Facilitate as students complete all Ahoy! modules on their own:
1. Ahoy micro:bit! (Introduction)
  • Students are introduced to the micro:bit and the micro:bit 101 course. Here's what the micro:bit looks like:

  • Tell students to click anywhere on the screen to move onto the next slide.
2. Front of the Board (Introduction)
  • In this module, a friendly pirate named Piper introduces the front part of the micro:bit:
    • LED Display: The micro:bit has a 5x5 grid of 25 LEDs. Point out to students that LED is an acronym for "light emitting diode."
    • Buttons: Students will learn that the micro:bit has two buttons: button A and button B. Emphasize to students that there isn't a "A+B" button on their micro:bit. The "A+B" button in the module is there to illustrate pushing button A and button B at the same time.
3. Back of the Board (Introduction)
  • In this module, Piper introduces the back part of the micro:bit:
    • Battery: Students will simulate plugging in the battery by placing the virtual plug into the animated micro:bit.
    • Sensors: Students will learn that the micro:bit has different sensors, such as a compass, thermometer, and accelerometer. Make sure students know what the different sensors measure (e.g., the thermometer sensor measures temperature). They'll need to know this for the quiz.
4. Block Review (Puzzle)
  • In this module, students will learn how to program their micro:bit using Tynker code blocks.
  • To solve this puzzle module, students will need to use five different "say" blocks to make the micro:bit display numbers 1-5.
  • Give a hint: Tell students that each "say" block needs to have a different parameter.
5. Land Ho! (DIY)
  • In this DIY (do-it-yourself) module, students will follow step-by-step directions to create a project that detects button presses and displays text on their micro:bit.
  • Make sure students drag the given code blocks onto the code editor section.
  • Point out to students that the micro:bit has three different button presses: A, B, and A+B.
  • Are students struggling to run code on their micro:bit? Make sure they read the instructions on "Step 4" of the tutorial carefully:

  • If students finish early, ask them to complete the bonus challenge, which encourages them to change the text and say something else!
6. Quiz (Multiple-choice)
  • Students will be asked 8 quiz questions to review concepts from this lesson.

Extended Activities (10 minutes)

Lead a discussion with your students:
  • Who can name at least two different parts located on the front of the micro:bit board? (Example: A button, B button, LEDs.)
  • Who can name at least two different parts located on the back of the micro:bit board? (Example: battery, accelerometer, temperature sensor.)
  • If you're micro:bit isn't working as expected, what should you do? (Answer: check your code, make sure the USB or battery is attached properly, ask a neighbor or the teacher for help, make sure you're connecting to the correct device.)

U.S. Standards

  • CCSS-Math: MP.1, MP.2, MP.4
  • CCSS-ELA: RF.3.4, RF.4.4, RF.5.4 RF.3.4.A, RF.4.4.A, RF.5.4.A
  • CSTA: 1B‑AP‑11, 1B‑AP‑12, 1B‑AP‑15
  • CS CA: 3‑5.AP.13, 3‑5.AP.14, 3‑5.AP.17
  • ISTE: 1.c, 1.d, 4.d, 5.c, 5.d, 6.b

U.K. Standards

Key Stage 2 (Years 4-6)
  • 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.

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
Ahoy!
27 Slides
Lesson 2
Light the Way
27 Slides
Lesson 3
Wireless
31 Slides
Lesson 4
High Rollers
24 Slides
Lesson 5
π-rates
29 Slides
Lesson 6
Two Sides of a Coin
24 Slides
Lesson 7
M-oceanography
27 Slides
Lesson 8
Game Night
26 Slides
Lesson 9
Sensory Overload
22 Slides
Lesson 10
Pins
24 Slides
Lesson 11
Devices
24 Slides
Lesson 12
FUNctions
22 Slides
Lesson 13
Soarin' Dragon
21 Slides
Lesson 14
Glow Shoes
17 Slides
Lesson 15
Grapher
19 Slides
Lesson 16
Piano
18 Slides