Lesson Plan

Lesson: Masking Actors

Time: 45+ mins


Say cheeeeese! In this lesson, students will import pictures of their face into Actors and use masking commands to isolate specific areas in the video feed.

New Code Blocks

  • : Cut out a section of the video feed, and resize the oval or rectangle shape to the specified width and height.
  • : Change the Actor’s costume to a picture taken from the video feed.
  • : Change the Actor’s costume to a live feed.
  • : Make the Actor repeat this loop while the mouse is down.
  • : Move the Actor to the mouse cursor.
  • : Start program when the screen is clicked.
  • : Make the Actor visible on the Stage.
  • : Run the code inside this block if the Actor is touching the specified color.


  • Video masking: The act of using a small portion of the video
  • Video frame: A parameter that lets you take a picture from the video feed
  • Live video: Real-time, continuous stream of video


Students will...
  • Use masking to put their face on a marble Actor
  • Create a virtual carnival photo booth
  • Design a maze and digitally navigate through it


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

Warm-Up (10 minutes)

1. Tell students you have an “a-maze-zing” lesson prepared for them today, and one of the Tynker activities requires a hand-draw a maze.
2. Show them an example of a simple maze with thick walls.
3. Hand students a piece of paper and markers.
4. Tell them to draw a maze on their sheet of paper and include a filled-in square at the upper left corner that is the same color as the walls.
5. Emphasize to students that their maze walls need to be the same color and drawn very thick.
6. Ask students to answer the following question on the back of their paper: What do you think we’re going to do on Tynker with your hand-drawn maze?
7. Collect the markers and tell students to set their maze aside.

Getting Started (5 minutes)

1. Use your projector to display “Module 2: Concepts.”
2. Play each concept (Masking, Video Frame, Live Video) and read the captions to the class.

Activities (30 minutes)

Facilitate as students complete all Masking Actors modules on their own:
1. Introduction (Video)
  • This short video introduces the Masking Actors lesson.
2. Concepts (Video)
  • This video introduces three coding concepts: “Masking,” “Video Frame,” and “Live Video.”
  • The “mask video” and “switch to costume” blocks are introduced.
  • Explain the difference between video frame and live video. Say, “A video frame is a picture taken from the video feed, whereas live video is real-time and continuously streaming.
3. Marble Drop Intro (Video)
  • This short video introduces the Marble Drop puzzle module.
4. Marble Drop (Puzzle)
  • In this puzzle module, students will turn their face into a marble Actor and watch it roll down their screen!
  • How to play: Tell students to click the top of the screen to drop five marbles.
5. Carnival Cutout Intro (Video)
  • This short video introduces the Carnival Cutout DIY (do it yourself) activity.
6. Carnival Cutout (DIY)
  • In this DIY, students will use masking to make their own virtual carnival cutouts!
  • Tell students that the hole in the cutout will not always be in the same place. Students need to drag the face Actor around the Stage as needed.
  • How to play: Tell students to click the cutout to change it, drag the face Actor to move it, and click the red snapshot button to take a screenshot!
7. Draw-a-Maze Intro (Video)
  • This short video introduces the Draw-a-Maze DIY activity.
8. Draw-a-Maze (DIY)
  • In this DIY, students will design a hand-drawn maze and digitally navigate through it.
  • Students need to include a filled-in square at the upper left corner of their maze.
  • Encourage students to redraw their maze if needed.
  • How to play: Tell students to navigate the ball Actor by pressing the arrow keys or tilting their mobile device. Any time the ball Actor touches the wall, it will jump back to the beginning of the maze.
9. Quiz (Multiple-Choice)
  • Students will be tested on Masking Actors concepts.

Optional Activities (20 minutes)

Review Questions
Discuss the following with students:
  • What is video masking? What are the different ways in which you can mask the video? (the act of using a small portion of the video, oval or rectangle)
  • What is a video frame? How does it differ from a live video? (a video frame is a picture taken from the video feed, whereas “live video” is continuously streaming)
  • What are the advantages of applying the video to an Actor, instead of using the Stage? (you can import pictures of your face into Actors to further customize images and games)


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