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).


NAEP Framework
NAEP Statement::
L4.4: When the environment changes, some plants and animals survive and reproduce; others die or move to new locations.


Unpacked Content
Scientific And Engineering Practices:
Planning and Carrying out Investigations
Crosscutting Concepts: Systems and System Models
Disciplinary Core Idea: From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes
Evidence Of Student Attainment:
Students:
  • Investigate different ways animals receive information through the senses.
  • Investigate different ways animals process the information they receive and how they respond to it.
Teacher Vocabulary:
  • investigate
  • evidence
  • transmit
  • perception
  • receptors
  • senses
  • sensory information
  • process
  • memories
Knowledge:
Students know:
  • Different types of sense receptors detect specific types of information within the environment.
  • Sense receptors send information about the surroundings to the brain.
  • Information that is transmitted to the brain by sense receptors can be processed immediately as perceptions of the environment and/or stored as memories.
  • Immediate perceptions or memories processed by the brain influences an animal's actions or responses to features in the environment.
Skills:
Students are able to:
  • Identify different ways animals receive, process, and respond to information.
  • Identify evidence of different ways animals receive, process, and respond to information to be investigated.
  • Plan ways to Investigate different ways animals receive, process, and respond to information.
  • Collect and communicate data of different ways animals receive, process, and respond to information.
Understanding:
Students understand that:
  • Sensory input, the brain, and behavioral output are all parts of a system that allows animals to engage in appropriate behaviors.
AMSTI Resources:
AMSTI Module:
Animal Studies

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.

Unpacked Content
Evidence Of Student Attainment:
Students will:
  • examine basic algorithms and determine where errors may exist.
Teacher Vocabulary:
  • detect
  • debug
  • logical
  • errors
  • algorithms
Knowledge:
Students know:
  • strategies to detect logical errors in various basic algorithms.
  • strategies to debug or repair logical errors in various basic algorithms.
Skills:
Students are able to:
  • detect and debug logical errors in various basic algorithms.
Understanding:
Students understand:
  • how to detect and debug logical errors in various basic algorithms.
  • strategies to detect and debug logical errors in various basic algorithms.
  • 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.

    Unpacked Content
    Evidence Of Student Attainment:
    Students will:
    • create a working program in a block
    • based visual programming environment while using arithmetic operators, conditionals, and repetition in programs, in collaboration with others.
    Teacher Vocabulary:
    • program
    • block-based visual programming environment
    • arithmetic operators
    • conditionals
    • repetition
    Knowledge:
    Students know:
    • the definitions for arithmetic operators, conditionals, and repetition as they relate to programming.
    • strategies for collaborating with peers.
    Skills:
    Students are able to:
    • create a working program in a block-based visual programming environment using arithmetic operators, conditionals, and repetition in programs.
    • implement strategies to collaborate with others.
    Understanding:
    Students understand that:
    • operators in programming make many options available, reducing the length of an alorithm, pseudocode, or program.
    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.

    Unpacked Content
    Evidence Of Student Attainment:
    Students will:
    • use basic features of digital tools to communciate key ideas and details in a way that informs and/or persuades.
    Teacher Vocabulary:
    • digital tools
    • communicate
    • key ideas
    • informs
    • persuades
    Knowledge:
    Students know:
    • digital tools are available that enable them to inform others.
    • digital tools are available that enable them to persuade others.
    Skills:
    Students are able to:
    • use basic features such as headings, text, and images to communicate key ideas that inform and/or persuade.
    Understanding:
    Students understand that:
    • digital tools can be used to communicate by informing and/or persuade others.

    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.