Lesson Plan

Lesson: Motion Direction

Time: 45+ mins


In this lesson, students will use coding concepts to track the direction of real-world motion on an Actor. Activities include programming a ball Actor to bounce around the Stage, using the direction block with Tynker’s physics engine, and programming Actors to “do the wave!”

New Code Blocks

  • : Track what angle the direction is moving behind the Actor.
  • : Point the Actor in the direction of motion behind it.
  • : If the specified parameter is true, make the Actor repeat this loop over and over.
  • : Apply an impulse of the specified value in the direction of the movement behind the Actor.
  • : React when the specified amount of motion in the video is detected.
  • : If the condition is true, then run the code inside the “if” case. Otherwise, run the code inside the “else” case.
  • : Listen for a message or broadcast from other scripts before activating.
  • : Broadcast a message to the program and wait until all activated scripts finish running.
  • :Animate the Actor to use its built-in animation.
  • : Set the angular velocity to the specified value, which affects how fast and in which direction (right or left) the Actor spins.


  • Motion direction: Direction that’s assigned a value between -180 to 180, where motion moving to the right is assigned a positive value, and motion moving to the left is assigned a negative value
  • Video frame: A parameter that lets you take a picture from the video feed
  • Impulse: Motion produced by movement


Students will...
  • Use the “video direction on Actor” block to program a ball Actor to bounce around the Stage
  • Use the direction block with Tynker’s physics engine to program ball Actors to spin in the correct direction when there is motion behind it
  • Use motion direction to program Actors to “do the wave"


  • 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. Pair up students and tell them to list at least two advantages and two disadvantages of augmented reality. For example—
  • Advantage: Create a new gaming experience, can use in schools to make learning more fun
  • Disadvantage: Need a compatible device, might not always work as expected
2. Encourage students to share their list with the class.

Getting Started (5 minutes)

1. Use your projector to display “Module 2: Concepts.”
2. Play each concept (Tracking Motion Direction, Using Motion Direction) and read the captions to the class.

Activities (30 minutes)

Facilitate as students complete all Motion Direction modules on their own:
1. Introduction (Video)
  • This short video introduces the Motion Direction lesson.
2. Concepts (Video)
  • This video introduces two coding concepts: “Tracking Motion Direction” and “Using Motion Direction.”
  • The “video direction on Actor” block is introduced.
3. Bouncy Ball Intro (Video)
  • This short video introduces the Bouncy Ball puzzle module.
4. Bouncy Ball (Puzzle)
  • In this puzzle module, students will program a ball Actor to move in the direction of the video motion behind it!
  • How to play: How to play: Tell students to bounce the ball with their arm or hands.
5.Silly Spinning Intro (Video)
  • This short video introduces the Silly Spinning DIY (do it yourself) activity.
6. Silly Spinning (DIY)
  • In this DIY, students will use the direction block with Tynker’s physics engine to program ball Actors to spin in the correct direction when there is motion behind it.
  • How to play: Tell students to move their hand on the ball Actors to spin them in different directions. Encourage them to make it look like they’re balancing a spinning basketball on their finger.
7. Do the Wave Intro (Video)
  • This short video introduces the Do the Wave DIY activity.
8. Do the Wave (DIY)
  • In this DIY, students will animate different Actors to respond to hand gestures.
  • How to play: Tell students to swipe their hand left and right to make a line of Actors “do the wave.”
9. Quiz (Multiple-Choice)
  • Students will be tested on Motion Direction concepts.

Optional Activities (20 minutes)

Review Questions
Discuss the following with students:
  • What is direction of motion? (an assigned value between -180 to 180) How is it different from amount of motion? (amount of motion is movement that doesn’t have a
  • range of direction between -180 to 180)
  • What does the value of the direction of motion mean? (Angle)
  • What are some ways you could use direction of motion in projects?


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
This course is not part of your plan. Please upgrade to view all answer keys

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