Lesson Plan

Lesson: Aerobatics
Time: 40+ mins


Now it's time to run a program on a real drone! In this lesson, students will learn how to connect their device to a drone as they complete their first DIY (do-it-yourself) project. Additionally, students will review angles as they learn how to turn the drone left and right by a specified number of degrees. The last module is a multiple-choice quiz that reviews concepts from this lesson. You can find quiz and module solutions in the "Answer Key" section of this teacher guide.

Important: This lesson includes 1 DIY project that requires at least one Parrot drone. Without it, students can not test their code. If you don't have a drone, your students can still complete the puzzle modules. If you do have a drone, your students can complete the puzzle modules and the DIY project. Below are steps on how to set up your device to the drone.

Setting Up Your Devices:
  • Download the Tynker app on the tablets you will be using. Here's what it looks like:

    You only need the free app to run this course, but you can also purchase the premium app, which will give your students access to more coding activities.
  • Note: Parrot frequently updates their drones. You will most likely need to update the firmware on your drones the first time you use them. You should also check periodically (every few months) to see if any new updates are available. This will ensure that your drone runs with the Tynker app.
  • If you have more than one drone, you need to turn on Classroom Mode, which pairs each drone with a tablet. This will make your students' code doesn’t run on the wrong drone by accident. To pair a tablet with a specific drone, go to the Tynker app and click the user icon in the top left corner. You’ll need to answer a simple math question, then click the "Settings" button at the bottom of the screen. Click the blue "Classroom Settings" button at the top right and check the "Classroom Mode" box. Enter the unique name of the drone (you can find this by pairing with the drone and going to the controller).

New Code Blocks

  • : Rotate the drone counter-clockwise (left) by the specified amount.
  • : Rotate the drone clockwise (right) by the specified amount.
  • : Move the drone to the left for a specific amount of seconds.
  • : Move the drone to the right for a specific amount of seconds.
  • : Move the drone backwards for a specific amount of seconds.


  • Angle: A measurement between two connected lines, usually measured in degrees.


Students will...
  • Use code blocks to solve puzzle modules
  • Apply coding concepts to make a virtual drone turn left and right by a specified number of degrees
  • Use code blocks to move the drone left, right, and backwards without turning
  • Demonstrate an understanding of how to connect a real drone to their device


  • 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)

Prepare students for today's DIY project by going over drone flight instructions:

1. Make sure the drone has a battery in it and that the battery is charged.
2. Make sure you have previously updated the drone’s firmware.
3. Unplug the drone from its charger if it is plugged in.
4. Place the drone near your device.
5. Turn on the drone. The drone’s eyes should light up as it turns on, turn yellow as it looks for the device, and turn green once it successfully connects with the device.
6. To confirm that the drone and the device are connected, tap the menu button for the drone Actor and select "Control." At the bottom of the controller popup, a line of text will tell you whether the drone is connected.
7. Place the drone on a flat surface, ideally on or near the ground.
8. Make sure your Tynker project includes a way to both take off and land.
9. Press Play to start your project.

Activities (40+ minutes)

Facilitate as students complete the Aerobatics modules on their own:
1. U-Turn (Concept)
  • Students will watch an animation of a friendly scientist introducing the "turn right" and "turn left" code blocks.
  • Make sure students click the provided commands to see how it affects the drone.
  • Inform students that the drone does not reset to 0 degrees each time they click a provided command.
  • Optional: Review angles by asking students to act as the drone and turn left and right by a certain number of degrees. Here are some degrees you can review: 90, 180, -90, 45. Does everyone end up facing the same way after a few instructions?
  • Point out to students that turning right by 90 degrees is the same as turning right by -270 degrees. In both examples, the drone will face the same direction, but it will take a different amount of time and will have turned in a different direction. Can students think of other examples that will result in the same direction?
2. U-Turn (Puzzle)
  • To solve this puzzle, students need to use the "turn right" code block to navigate the virtual drone to platform B.
  • Remind students that a right angle is 90 degrees.
  • Point out to students that the "turn right" code block only rotates the drone—it doesn't move it forward or backward.
  • Are students struggling? Ask them to write down the steps that the drone needs to complete in order to reach platform B. How many squares does it need to move? What direction does it need to go? When does it need to turn right? How many degrees does it need to turn? Then remind them to set their speed to 25%, which will move the drone one square per second.
  • Did students notice that the drone needs to move two squares at a time? Optional: Ask them to set the speed to 50%, which will move the drone 2 squares per second.
3. Back and Forth (Puzzle)
  • To solve this puzzle, students need to program the drone to fly forward 4 squares, collect the power ring, then turn around and land on the platform.
  • Students will need to use the "turn left" code block, which will rotate the drone counter-clockwise (left) by the specified amount.
  • Check for understanding by asking students,"How many degrees does the drone need to turn in order to reverse its direction?" (Answer: 180 degrees)
  • If students finish early, ask them to explore different solutions. For example, if students set the drone's speed to 100%, the drone only needs to move for 1 second in each direction.
4. Diamond (Puzzle)
  • Students need to navigate the drone around obstacles to collect 3 power rings then land back at its original location.
  • This puzzle module requires more steps than previous puzzles. Before students start adding code blocks, ask them to write down what direction the drone needs to move, how many squares it needs to move, and what angle it needs to turn.
  • If students are struggling, ask them to break down their code into smaller chunks. Can they identify where their code doesn't work as expected?
5. Moon Walk (Concept)
  • A friendly scientist introduces 3 new drone code blocks: "left for", "right for", and "backward for".Emphasize to students that the "left for", "right for", and "backward for" code blocks do not turn the drone. Point out that these blocks depend on which direction the drone is facing. For example, if the drone turns, its left, right, and backward directions will be different than its original position.
6. Moon Walk (Puzzle)
  • In this puzzle, students need to use the "backwards for" block to move the drone backwards without turning.
  • Optional: See how many different solutions your students can come up with! Give a hint: Ask them to explore different speeds.
7. Medusa (Puzzle)
  • To solve this puzzle, the drone must always face away from the spaceships.
  • Inform students that if the drone's light faces a spaceship, they'll need to start over.
  • Students will need to use the "right for" and "left for" code blocks. Remind students that these code blocks do not turn the drone.
  • Are students struggling? Ask them to move the drone around the spaceships--not through it. Give a hint: Tell students to make the drone face the right side of the screen, then the top of the screen, then the left side of the screen.
8. Medusa 2 (Puzzle)
  • Similar to the previous puzzle, students need to make sure the drone never faces the spaceships.
  • Point out to students that the drone is initially facing the bottom of the screen. This is why students see the drone moving left across the screen when they use a "right for" code block.
  • If students are struggling, ask them to alternate between "backward for" and "right for" code blocks to make the drone move in a zigzag pattern.
9. Medusa 3 (Puzzle)
  • This puzzle is all about timing! See if students can program the drone to land on platform B without facing the spaceships.
  • If students are struggling, ask them to alternate between "right for" and "turn right by" code blocks.
  • Remind students that a right angle is 90 degrees. They'll need to apply this concept to solve the puzzle.
  • Before students start adding code blocks, make sure they identify the path that the drone needs to take to reach platform B and not face the spaceships.
10. To The Sky (DIY)
  • In this DIY (do-it-yourself) project, students will learn how to code a real life drone that does a flip in the air!
  • Students are provided a tutorial with step-by-step instructions and necessary code blocks. Make sure they read the instructions carefully and drag the provided code blocks (located on the side tutorial bar) onto the coding platform.
  • Inform students that the drone on the Tynker Stage will not simulate the movement of the code blocks. Even if the code blocks are correct, the drone on the Stage will not move.
  • Emphasize to students that if they don't use the "land" block, the drone will plummet to the ground. This is dangerous for the drone and the people around it!
  • Important: Once students finish coding their project, you'll need to log in to your account on the Tynker app and sync the projects. Once the drone is on and paired with the device, you can run code by pressing the Play button.
  • The last page of the tutorial encourages students to apply what they've learned so far and program the drone to perform more tricks.
  • Students can access additional code blocks by clicking the Blocks tab (located at the top-right corner of the tutorial):

    To return to the tutorial, students can click this icon:

  • Are students ready to move onto the next lesson? Make sure they click the "I'm Done" button that's located on the last slide of the tutorial.
11. 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:
  • How did you apply angles in today's coding activities? (Answers will vary)
  • If the drone isn't connecting to the Tynker app, how can you troubleshoot? (Example: Update the drone's firmware, make sure the drone is connected to the correct device, make sure the drone has power/batteries, restart devices)


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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