Lesson Plan

Lesson: Grabber and Cannon
Time: 40+ mins


Did you know the Mambo drone has a grabber and cannon feature? In this final lesson, students will learn how to program the Mambo drone to grab small objects to complete fun missions! Students will also learn how to use the cannon feature, which fires small green pellets. The last module is a multiple-choice quiz that reviews concepts from this lesson. You can find quiz solutions and project examples in the "Answer Key" section of this teacher guide. Important: This lesson has 4 DIY projects that require at least one Parrot drone.

New Code Blocks

  • : Make the drone open or close the grabber.
  • : Launch a ball from the cannon.
  • : Return true if a drone has a connon. Otherwise, return false.
  • : Return true if a drone has a grabber. Otherwise, return false.
  • : Make the Actor appear on the screen.
  • : Make the Actor disappear from the screen.


  • No new vocabulary terms are introduced in this lesson.


Students will...
  • Apply coding concepts to create 4 projects
  • Use the Mambo drone's grabber and cannon
  • Use conditionals and loops


  • Parrot drone (minimum 1 per class)
  • For web: Computers, laptops, or Chromebooks (1 per student)
  • For mobile: iPads or Android tablets (1 per student)

Warm-Up (5 minutes)

Inform students that in today's coding adventure, they're going to use the Mambo drone's grabber and cannon features. Explain that the grabber feature allows the drone to grab, carry, and release small objects. The cannon feature makes the drone fire small green pellets! Prepare students for today by reviewing safety rules:
  • Identify what's okay and what's not okay for the grabber to pick up.
  • Small green pellets should ONLY be fired at the specified target.
What other safety rules can your students think of?

Activities (40+ minutes)

Facilitate as students complete the Grabber and Cannon modules on their own:
1. Concepts (Concept)
  • Students will learn about the Mambo drone's grabber attachment.
  • A friendly scientist introduces the "grabber" code block, which allows the Mambo to pick up/put down small objects.
2. Equipment Transporter (DIY)
  • In this project, students will learn how to program the drone to use its grabber to pick up a small object and move it somewhere else!
  • Coding activities include programming the drone to close its grabber to pick up a small object, making the drone transport the object to a different location in the classroom, and instructing the drone to release the object once it lands.
  • Before students run their code, make sure the grabber is attached to the drone. Also make sure the grabber is open.
  • The last page of the tutorial encourages students to experiment with their code and create a different fly path. See what other small objects the drone can transport!
3. Drop Zone (DIY)
  • Now it's time to create a program where the drone picks up a small object then drops it on a target while flying back and forth!
  • Coding activities include programing the drone to pick up the object, using a "forever" loop to make the drone repeatedly fly back and forth over the target, creating functions, and customizing the project.
  • Check for understanding by asking students why they need to include a "forever" loop in their code. (Answer: Without a "forever" loop, the drone will only move back and forth once)
  • See if students can hit the drop zone using a smaller target. What other ways can they make the mission more challenging?
  • If students finish early, ask them to create a different flight path.
4. Concepts (Concept)
  • Students will learn about the Mambo drone's cannon attachment.
  • A friendly scientist introduces the "fire cannon" code block, which makes the cannon fire small green pellets!
  • Make sure students click the "fire cannon" code block. Did they see the virtual drone launch a green pellet at the target?
5. Three Pointer (DIY)
  • In this project, students will create a project where the drone's cannon will launch pellets into different buckets!
  • Before students start coding, make sure you position buckets at varying distances. Note: If you don't have a bucket, you can use an empty trash can or basket.
  • Coding activities include instructing the drone to take off, programming the drone to fly higher until it reaches the necessary height to fire a pellet into the bucket, making the drone land, and customizing the project.
  • The last page of the tutorial instructs students to design a custom controller. See if they can code button Actors that can navigate the drone and make it fire a pellet on command!
  • What other solutions can students think of?
6. Grabber/Cannon Controller (DIY)
  • Now it's time to combine the drone's grabber and cannon features.
  • Coding activities include creating functions, programming the fire button to activate the cannon, checking if the grabber/cannon is attached, using variables, and customizing the project.
  • Students are provided code blocks to get started, but they're encouraged to add onto the project and make it their own. See if they can create a challenging mission they need to complete. Can they create a game that uses the grabber and cannon attachment?
  • If students finish early, pair them up and ask them to discuss additional features they can add to their project. Then have them test it out!
7. Quiz (Multiple Choice)
  • Students will be asked multiple-choice quiz questions to review concepts from this lesson.

Extended Activities

Review today’s coding adventure by leading a discussion. Ask students:
  • What's something you accomplished in this course that you're proud of?
  • What other projects or games would you like to learn how to create?
  • Did you create your own game that uses the cannons grabber and/or cannon? What's the goal of the game? What are the rules?


U.S. Standards
  • CCSS-ELA: SL.5.1, 6-8.RST.3, 6-8.RST.4, 6-8.RST.7, RI.7.4, RI.8.4
  • CCSS-Math: MP.1
  • CSTA: 1B-CS-02, 1B-CS-03, 1B-AP-11, 1B-AP-12, 1B-AP-15, 2-CS-02, 2-CS-03, 2-AP-10, 2-AP-11, 2-AP-13, 2-AP-14, 2-AP-15, 2-AP-16
  • CS CA: 3-5.AP.10, 3-5.AP.13, 3-5.AP.14, 3-5.AP.17, 3-5.CS.2, 3-5.CS.3, 6-8.CS.2, 6-8.AP.13, 6-8.AP.16, 6-8.CS.2, 6-8.CS.3
  • ISTE: 1.c, 1.d, 4.d, 5.c, 5.d, 6.b

U.K. Standards
National Curriculum in England (computing):
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
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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
Flight Training
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Lesson 2
0 Slides
Lesson 3
Pilot's Wings
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Lesson 4
0 Slides
Lesson 5
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Lesson 6
Remote Control
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Lesson 7
Fly by Feel
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Lesson 8
Advanced Movement
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Lesson 9
Virtual Pilot
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Lesson 10
Virtual Pilot 2
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Lesson 11
Grabber and Cannon
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