Lesson Plan

Lesson: Virtual Pilot
Time: 40+ mins


In this lesson, students will apply what they learned to create 2 fun DIY (do-it-yourself) projects! In the first project, Challenge Controller, students will create a button-based controller that highlights advanced drone movements. This is different from a previous button-based controller that only used simple movements. Next, students will move onto the next project, Virtual Flight Plan. In this project, students will program a virtual drone and real-world drone to perform the same movements. Let's see what amazing projects your students can create! Important: This lesson has 2 DIY projects that require at least one Parrot drone.

New Code Blocks

  • No new code blocks are introduced in this lesson.


  • No new vocabulary terms are introduced in this lesson.


Students will...
  • Apply coding concepts to create 2 projects
  • Use functions
  • Apply conditional logic


  • 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)

  • Pair up students then ask them to think of a challenging obstacle that requires the drone to perform an advanced trick. For example, perhaps students can set up chairs that the drone has to zig-zag around. Or maybe there's a tall structure that the drone needs to circle around. Once students think of an obstacle, ask them to write a sequence of commands to make the drone navigate around the obstacle. Challenge students to use advanced movements.
  • Optional: If students are struggling, ask them to refer to their code from their "Trick Code" project. Instruct them to modify their original tricks by adding advanced movements.

Activities (40+ minutes)

Facilitate as students complete the Virtual Pilot modules on their own:
1. Challenge Controller (DIY)
  • In this DIY (do-it-yourself) project, students will create a button-based controller where each button will trigger an advanced movement. Explain to students that this project is different from a previous button-based controller project because now they have much more knowledge of how to control the drone. For example, they can move the drone in curves or move it in two directions at once!
  • Coding activities include programming the drone to take off, making the drone perform advanced tricks, creating/calling functions, instructing the drone to land, and customizing the project.
  • Students will need to create 4 functions (1 for each button Actor). Make sure students use a minimum of 4 blocks per function.
  • If students need inspiration, ask them to refer to their warm-up activity or look at previous projects. How can they improve their code to make their drone perform an advanced trick around an obstacle?
  • Optional: Pair up students and ask them to brainstorm ideas on how they could make the obstacle course more challenging.
2. Virtual Flight Plan (DIY)
  • In this project, students can program a virtual drone and real-world drone at the same time using the same blocks. Explain to students that their project uses additional functions that allow the virtual drone to simulate the real-world drone's behavior. If they change the provided functions, the simulation will not work.
  • Unlike previous projects, students can view a virtual stunt before testing the code on a real drone.
  • Make sure students attach the drone code blocks to the "Code For Drone" function.
  • Once students finish coding their project, they're ready to connect a real drone. How did the behavior of the real-world drone compare to the virtual drone? How were they similar/different?

Extended Activities

Review today’s coding adventure by leading a discussion. Ask students:
  • What makes a trick "advanced" or "challenging"?
  • Which do you enjoy more: Coming up with an advanced trick for your drone, coding the advanced trick, or creating the obstacle course? Why?


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
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Lesson 3
Pilot's Wings
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Lesson 4
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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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