Lesson Plan

Lesson: Skywriting
Time: 40+ mins

Introduction

In this lesson, students will apply loops as they learn how to make the drone draw fun shapes in the air. Loops allow programmers to use reduce the amount of code that they have to write. To complete the puzzle modules, students will need to look for a repeating pattern. That repeating pattern will be what they place inside the "repeat" loop code block. Once students complete the module modules, they'll move onto the DIY (do-it-yourself) projects. The last module is a multiple-choice quiz that reviews concepts from this lesson. You can find quiz and puzzle module solutions in the "Answer Key" section of this teacher guide.

Important: This lesson has 2 DIY projects that require at least one Parrot drone.

New Code Blocks

  • : Repeat the code inside this loop a specified number of times.
  • : Keep repeating the blocks inside this loop forever.

Vocabulary

  • Loop: An action that repeats one or more commands over and over.
  • Counting loop: A loop that repeats one or more commands a specific number of times.
  • Pattern: Something that repeats.
  • Cube: A cube is a three-dimensional shape made by six equal squares.
  • Face: In geometry, a face is a flat surface that forms part of the outside of a shape.
  • Vertex: In geometry, a vertex is an angular point of a shape.
  • Edge: In geometry, an edge is a line segment on a shape that joins two vertices along the border between two faces.

Objectives

Students will...
  • Apply loops and sequencing logic to solve puzzles
  • Identify patterns in code sequences
  • Use counting loops with numerical parameters
  • Use code blocks to create 2 projects

Materials

  • 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 a "repeat" loop repeats code inside the loop for a specified number of times. Model an example of a "repeat" loop by clapping your hands 4 times. Next, ask students:
  • What was the repeated action (Answer: clapping)
  • How many times was the action repeated (Answer: 4 times)
Tell students that they'll need to use "repeat" loops in today's coding adventure as they program the drone to create common shapes. Prepare students for today's lesson by asking them to write their own example of a "repeat" loop that will create a square. Their answer might look like this:

Repeat 4 times
    Walk forward 3 units
    Turn 90 degrees left

Activities (40+ minutes)

Facilitate as students complete the Skywriting modules on their own:
1. Concepts (Concept)
  • Students will watch a short animation of a friendly scientist introducing loops.
  • Make sure students understand the difference between an "infinite" loop and a "counting" loop. Explain that an "infinite" loop repeats a chunk of code forever and does not end until the program stops, whereas a "counting" loop tells the program how many times to repeat the code.
  • Students are shown 2 different examples of code that creates a square. One example doesn't use a "repeat" block, and the other example does.
2. Spin Move (Puzzle)
  • In this puzzle, students need to use a "repeat" loop to program the drone to turn right 90 degrees 4 times.
  • Remind students that the code they want to repeat needs to be inside the "repeat" code block. Any blocks attached under the loop will only run once the loop has finished executing all the blocks inside it.
  • Are students struggling? Give them a hint: Ask them…
    • What is the repeated action that we want the drone to do? (Answer: Turn right 90 degrees)
    • Where should we place the "turn right by 90 degrees" code block? (Answer: Inside the "repeat" loop)
    • What block should we attach above the "repeat" block? (Answer: "take off")
    • What block should we attach below the "repeat" block? (Answer: "land")
  • Explain to students that the number next to the word "repeat" represents how many times the code blocks inside the loop will be repeated. They'll need to know this for the quiz.
3. Repetition Mission (Puzzle)
  • To solve this puzzle, students need to add two blocks inside the "repeat" loop and program the drone to collect the power rings.
  • Before students start adding code blocks, ask them to trace the path that the drone needs to take in order to collect the power rings. Next, ask them to identify the pattern. (Answer: move forward, turn left)
  • Remind students to set their speed to 25%, which will move the drone one square per second.
4. Square (Puzzle)
  • In this puzzle, students need to program the drone to move in a square.
  • Are students struggling? Give a hint: Tell them that they need to place 2 different code blocks inside the "repeat" block.
  • See if students know how many right angles are in a square. (Answer: 4) Then remind them that a right angle is 90 degrees.
5. Shape Challenge (DIY)
  • In this DIY (do-it-yourself) project, students will learn how to code a real life drone to draw fun shapes (e.g., square, triangle, star) in the air!
  • This activity reinforces loops, turning, and angles of different equilateral shapes. The first part of the project uses the same code that the students used in the previous module to draw a square. But students are also instructed to draw a triangle and a star using code.
  • Coding activities include programming the drone to take off, using loops to move the drone in a pattern a specific amount of times, and making the drone land.
  • Point out to students that a square has 4 sides and 360/4 = 90, so they need to make the drone turn 90 degrees 4 times. A triangle has 3 sides and 360/3 = 120, so they need to turn 120 degrees 3 times.
  • When students are ready to test their code, make sure they delete or disconnect their code from earlier shapes. Otherwise, the drone will receive contradictory instructions and the code won't run as expected.
  • The last page of the tutorial encourages students to apply what they've learned so far and program the drone to draw a star! If students are struggling with angles, refer them to the provided diagram which shows several angles.
  • If students finish early, encourage them to code their drone to create other shapes such as a hexagon, rectangle, or more!
6. Cube (DIY)
  • Now it's time to draw 3-dimensional shapes in the air! In this project, students will use the drone to trace out a cube.
  • Students are provided the necessary code blocks, but they'll have to apply geometry concepts to figure out what angle to turn the drone and how far in needs to travel in a specific direction.
  • Show students an example of a cube. See if they can identify other real-life examples of cubes.
  • Optional: Before students begin adding code blocks, see if they know how many sides or faces a cube has. How many edges? How many vertices?
  • Inform students that there are many ways to draw a cube with the drone. Note: You can find an example solution in the Answer Key section of this teacher guide.
  • Are students struggling? Ask them to compare their code and try to come up with what they think is the best solution. What strategies are they using to solve the problem?
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:
  • How did you apply loops in your code?
  • What are some strategies you used to identify "repeat" loops?
  • Do you prefer to use loops in your code or are you more comfortable coding without loops?

Standards

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.
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Lesson 1
Flight Training
0 Slides
Lesson 2
Aerobatics
0 Slides
Lesson 3
Pilot's Wings
0 Slides
Lesson 4
Dronie
0 Slides
Lesson 5
Skywriting
0 Slides
Lesson 6
Remote Control
0 Slides
Lesson 7
Fly by Feel
0 Slides
Lesson 8
Advanced Movement
0 Slides
Lesson 9
Virtual Pilot
0 Slides
Lesson 10
Virtual Pilot 2
0 Slides
Lesson 11
Grabber and Cannon
0 Slides