ALEX Lesson Plan

Using Code to Create an Animated Animal

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  This lesson provided by:  
Author:Stephanie Carver
System: Cullman City
School: Cullman City Board Of Education
The event this resource created for:GEMS
  General Lesson Information  
Lesson Plan ID: 36162

Title:

Using Code to Create an Animated Animal

Overview/Annotation:

Students will use the free online coding program, Scratch, to learn the basics of coding and how to use blocks and animations to create an animated animal. Students will show how an animated animal will receive, process, and respond to information using its senses. The students will go through a series of coding steps to create a background and make an animal move and change according to factors in its environment.

This lesson plan was created as a result of the Girls Engaged in Math and Science, GEMS Project.

 Associated Standards and Objectives 
Content Standard(s):
Science
SC2015 (2015)
Grade: 4
11 ) Investigate different ways animals receive information through the senses, process that information, and respond to it in different ways (e.g., skunks lifting tails and spraying an odor when threatened, dogs moving ears when reacting to sound, snakes coiling or striking when sensing vibrations).


Alabama Alternate Achievement Standards
AAS Standard:
SCI.AAS.4.11- Identify the sense organs and the information they receive (eyes/sight, tongue/taste, ears/hearing, skin/touch, nose/smell).


Digital Literacy and Computer Science
DLIT (2018)
Grade: 4
4) Detect and debug logical errors in various basic algorithms.

Example: Trace the path of a set of directions to determine success or failure.

Digital Literacy and Computer Science
DLIT (2018)
Grade: 4
7) Create a working program in a block-based visual programming environment using arithmetic operators, conditionals, and repetition in programs, in collaboration with others.

Digital Literacy and Computer Science
DLIT (2018)
Grade: 4
12) Use basic features of digital tools to communicate key ideas and details in a way that informs and/or persuades.

Local/National Standards:

 

Primary Learning Objective(s):

Students will collaborate with others to create an animated animal that receives, processes, and responds to information using its senses.

Students will identify errors in coding algorithms to create a working program.

Students will use the basic features of digital tools to communicate key ideas and details in a way that informs.

Students will create a working animation in the Scratch programming environment while collaborating with classmates.

Additional Learning Objective(s):

 
 Preparation Information 

Total Duration:

61 to 90 Minutes

Materials and Resources:

Chromebook or another device with Internet access for each student or group of students

Access to the Scratch website

Journal and pencil for each student for any note taking

Technology Resources Needed:

Each group of students will need access to a device with an Internet connection. It is ideal for every student to have his or her individual device. Students will be working on this project collaboratively, but each student will want to have their own device to follow along with one another on the Scratch animation. 

Background/Preparation:

The students and the teacher will need some basic knowledge of coding and the program Scratch. Scratch is a free online coding program that uses blocks to create animations and games. If the students are not familiar with this online coding program, they can use the "Getting Started" tutorial that Scratch offers. Students do not require a login username and password, however, it is free if the students would like to save their projects.

Students will also need to have an animal chosen to research. They will be required to research how the animal receives, processes, and responds to information using its senses. 

  Procedures/Activities: 

Before

Ask students to share what they know about code, input, output, and data. (Code: What people use to describe the steps a computer program should take; Input: The information and instructions that you give to the computer; Output: How a computer behaves based on a combination of your input and the code of the program; Data: The information that you put into a computer to get it to perform a task or make a calculation.)

Explain to the students that they will be using the online coding program Scratch to create a background, choose a character, and add animation to the character (animal) to show how it receives, processes, and responds to information using its senses.

Allow the students to watch the introductory video on the Scratch website to show an overview of coding on Scratch.

During

Students will work collaboratively in groups to choose an animal and research how it receives, processes, and responds to information using its senses. Example: skunks lifting tails and spraying an odor when threatened, dogs moving ears when reacting to sound, snakes coiling or striking when sensing vibrations.  The students must choose one animal response (skunk lifting tail, dog barking, etc.) to present to the class through the coding program Scratch. Students can use the website Pebble Go to research their animals. This portion of the lesson should not take very long. Students are only presenting one animal response. 

The students will go through the "Animate a Character" tutorial on Scratch. This tutorial gives step-by-step instructions on how to choose a character, create a background, and make the character talk, move, and change color.

After

After the students have watched and used the steps in practice on the tutorial, they will create an animated animal using the same steps from the tutorial. The students will need to choose a sprite character that matches their animal. If no character is listed in the Scratch program for their animal, they can add a picture of their animal.

If the students have trouble getting their animal to talk, move, or change color, they should identify any errors in their coding algorithm or revisit the "Animate a Character" tutorial for tips.


  Assessment  

Assessment Strategies

The teacher should assess the students' progress throughout the lesson by observing the creation of the animated animal and asking/answering questions as they arise.  

Each student or group of students should present a working animated animal that receives, processes, and responds to information according to the project environment. The students will present these animated animals to the class. This will determine if students understand how an animal receives, processes, and responds to information and test the program for bugs.

Acceleration:

There are several tasks on the Scratch website that can be used to expand the understanding of code and how to build projects. Students can click on the "tips" tab on the Scratch page and find a list of several other tasks to complete.

Intervention:

Students might need extra vocabulary support in a small group with the terms code, input, output, data, receive, respond, and process. Students needing extra support should be paired with a peer helper to walk through the research and coding steps of the lesson.


View the Special Education resources for instructional guidance in providing modifications and adaptations for students with significant cognitive disabilities who qualify for the Alabama Alternate Assessment.