Lesson Plan

Lesson: Pilot's Wings
Time: 40+ mins


Are your students ready to earn their pilot's wings? In this lesson, students will use code to navigate a real drone as they complete 3 DIY (do-it-yourself) projects. Additionally, students will work as a team as they design and build different obstacle courses for the drone to navigate through. Each DIY module includes step-by-step instructions, code blocks to help your students get started, and ideas on how students can further customize their project. Important: This lesson has DIY projects that require at least one Parrot drone. Without it, students cannot test their code.

New Code Blocks

  • No new code blocks are introduced in this lesson.


  • No new vocabulary terms are introduced in this lesson.


Students will...
  • Demonstrate an understanding of how to connect a real drone to their device
  • Use code blocks to create 3 projects
  • Apply coding concepts to make a drone navigate through obstacles
  • Design and build a real-world obstacle course


  • 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)

Review drone code blocks by having students pair off and give each other directions to navigate around the room. Here's a list of the commands they can use:
  • Turn left: Rotate the drone counter-clockwise (left) by the specified amount.
  • Turn right: Rotate the drone clockwise (right) by the specified amount.
  • Left for: Move the drone to the left for a specific amount of seconds.
  • Right for: Move the drone to the right for a specific amount of seconds.
  • Backwards for: Move the drone backwards for a specific amount of seconds.
  • Forward for: Move the drone forward for a specific amount of seconds.
See if they can avoid others by turning and going forward or have them move left and right. Remind students that left, right, backward, and forward are relative to the drone (or their partner, in this case). Inform students that they'll reinforce these concepts in today's lesson as they complete 3 projects that will navigate a real drone!

Activities (40+ minutes)

Facilitate as students complete the Pilot's Wings modules on their own:
1. Free Flight (DIY)
  • In this DIY (do-it-yourself) project, students will learn how to code a real life drone to move from one place to another! This activity can be completed indoors or outdoors.
  • Coding activities include programming the drone to take off, moving the drone away from the wall, using code blocks to navigate the drone to its end location, making the drone land, and experimenting with different obstacles.
  • Before students start coding their project, identify the drone's start and end location. The tutorial suggests starting the drone inside one room and navigating it to another room. Optional: Place an object on the ground to identify the start and end location.
  • 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.
  • Remind students that the drone on the Tynker Stage will not simulate the movement of the code blocks.
  • Are students ready to test their code? You'll need to create teams depending on how many drones you have. Alternatively, you can have students (or teams) take turns testing their code on the drone. Also make sure their code has the "land" block. Otherwise, the drone will plummet to the ground!
  • At first, students will need to guess and check how many seconds their drone needs to move in order to reach the destination marker. Each time a team tests their code on the drone, ask them to take notes. How far did the drone travel? What was the speed set to? They can refer to their notes as they complete future DIY projects.
  • The last page of the tutorial encourages students to try using different obstacles. How did the obstacles change their original code? Did the obstacle changes make navigating the drone easier or more difficult?
2. Obstacle Course (DIY)
  • Before starting this activity, group students into teams. Teams can be structured according to how many drones you have or how you prefer to structure the lesson.
  • Inform the teams that they'll need to create an obstacle course using material in the classroom. Encourage them to create a challenging course, but be mindful of others' space.
  • Make sure teams identify the drone's start and end location.
  • Once students finish designing their obstacle course, they're ready to code!
  • Encourage students to write different paths that the drone can take to reach its destination.
  • Are students struggling to create an obstacle course? Ask them to program the drone to fly in a zigzag pattern through chairs. Or their course could include a component where the drone needs to fly above a stack of chairs. What creative obstacles can they think of?
  • If teams finish early, ask them to try to solve each others' obstacle course. Did they solve the course in a different way?
  • Optional: Ask teams to select one obstacle from their course. Next, use the obstacle from each team and combine it to create an "Ultimate Classroom Obstacle" course. Did they find this course easier or more challenging to navigate compared to their original obstacle course?
3. Teamwork (DIY)
  • In this project, teams need to partner up and work together as they create a mega-obstacle course. Unlike previous activities, both teams will need to navigate the course—at the same time!
  • Before students start designing their obstacle course, make sure they have 2 separate start and end locations.
  • Make sure each group uses a unique path so their drones do not collide. Teams will need to collaborate within their original group and with their new group.
  • The last page of the tutorial includes an extended activity that instructs students to create a new flight path. How does the new flight path compare to the original path? Is it easier or more difficult to navigate?
4. 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 are some benefits of working in a team?
  • What's a challenge you and your team faced when building the obstacle course? How did you solve the problem?
  • If your code didn't work as expected, what strategies did you use to identify the error and fix your code?


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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