Lesson Plan

Lesson: Visual Effects

Time: 40+ mins


Hope you brought your dancing shoes! In this lesson, students will apply different visual effects to the camera as they complete dance and music themed modules!

New Code Blocks

  • : Flip the image on your camera from left to right.
  • : Set the video transparency to the specified value between 0 and 100.
  • : Play a sound effect or a short tune.
  • : Adjust the Score Actor.
  • : React when the specified amount of motion in the video is detected and the Actor is active.


  • Normal image: An image from the camera feed, where the image appears as though you’re seeing a reflection in a mirror
  • Flipped image: An image from the camera feed, where the image is flipped from left to right
  • Video transparency: Term used to describe the state of how clearly the video on the Stage can be seen through


Students will...
  • Use “set transparency” blocks to set the Stage to partial transparency
  • Use visual effect code blocks to match the Actor’s dance moves
  • Create a music video
  • Create a dancing game with button Actors that flip the Stage


  • Computers or iPads (1 per student) with a working camera and student account access to Tynker.com
  • Headphones (1 per student)

Warm-Up (5 minutes)

1. Tell students that they are going to learn about mirroring effects.
2. Say, “Yesterday we learned how to use the ‘turn video’ block to turn the camera on or off. As we saw yesterday, this block displayed a normal image.”
3. Ask, “Who can give another example of when you’ve seen a normal image of yourself?” (looking at yourself in the bathroom mirror, seeing your reflection on the TV, playing with selfie filters on Snapchat)
4. Say, “A flipped image is an image that’s flipped from left to right. Instead of turning the video on normally to see our normal image--like we did in the previous lesson--we will learn how to flip an image by changing the parameter to ‘on-flipped.’ Let’s get started.”

Getting Started (5 minutes)

1. Use your projector to display “Module 2: Concepts.”
2. Play each concept (Flipping the Camera, Video Transparency) and read each caption to the class.

Activities (30 minutes)

Hand each student a pair of headphones and facilitate as students complete all Visual Effects modules on their own:
1. Introduction (Video)
  • This short video introduces the Visual Effects lesson.
2. Concepts (Video)
  • This video introduces two coding concepts: “Flipping the Camera” and “Video Transparency.”
  • The “turn video on flipped” and “set transparency” blocks are introduced.
  • Explain that the “turn video on flipped” block flips the image from left to right—not up and down.
3. Dance-Off Intro (Video)
  • This short video introduces the Dance-Off puzzle module.
4. Dance-Off (Puzzle)
  • In this puzzle module, students need to use visual effect code blocks to set the video to partial transparency and match the Actor’s dance moves.
  • Tell students to use the drop-down menu on the “set transparency” block to change the parameter. A smaller number increases the video’s transparency on the stage, and a larger number decreases the video’s transparency.
  • Make sure students use the drop-down menu on the “turn video” block to change the parameter to “on-flipped” when the Actor’s switch direction.
  • Give a hint: Tell students the Actors switch direction after 6 seconds.
5. Music Video Intro (Video)
  • This short video introduces the Music Video DIY (do it yourself) activity.
6. Music Video (DIY)
  • In this DIY, students will create a music video featuring tunes and locations from around the world!
  • Remind students to attach the “forever” block under the “set video transparency” block.
  • How to play: Tell students to click the play button and encourage them to dance to the tune. Notice how the music and scenes automatically change every five seconds.
7. Dance Moves Intro (Video)
  • This short video introduces the Dance Moves DIY activity.
8. Dance Moves (DIY)
  • In this DIY, students will program a dancing game with button Actors that flip the Stage!
  • How to play: Tell students to wave their hands behind the buttons in time with the beat.
9. Quiz (Multiple-Choice)
  • Students will be tested on Visual Effects concepts.

Optional Activities (20 minutes each)

Modify the Music Video
  • Tell students to open “Module 6: Music Video” and experiment with their code.
  • Encourage them to program their music video to change the tune and location when the Stage is clicked. Hint: Use a “when screen clicked” block.

Review Questions
Discuss the following with students:
  • What is the difference between "turn video on" and "turn video on-flipped?” (“turn video on” displays a normal image, “turn video on-flipped” displays an image that’s flipped from left to right)
  • What is transparency? How would you change your video's transparency? (Transparency describes the state of how clearly the video can be seen through. You can change the video’s transparency by adjusting its value between 0-100.)
  • What does a high transparency value do to a video, compared to a low transparency value? (At a transparency value of 0, only the video will be visible. At a transparency value of 100, only the stage Background will be visible.)


CCSS-Math: MP.1
CCSS-ELA: SL.3.1, SL.3.3, SL.4.1, SL.4.1.C, SL.5.1, SL.5.1.C, SL.5.1.D, SL.6.1, SL.6.1.C, SL.7.1, SL.7.1.C, SL.7.1.D, SL.8.1, SL.8.1.C, SL.8.1.D
CSTA: 1A-AP-09, 1A-AP-10, 1A-AP-11, 1A-AP-14
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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
Activating Visuals
27 Slides
Lesson 2
Detecting Motion
27 Slides
Lesson 3
Visual Effects
25 Slides
Lesson 4
Tracking Motion
27 Slides
Lesson 5
Masking Actors
26 Slides
Lesson 6
Motion Direction
26 Slides
Lesson 7
Boxing Match
17 Slides
Lesson 8
Human Pong
18 Slides
Lesson 9
Brick Breaker
18 Slides
Lesson 10
Fruit Ninja
17 Slides