Lesson Plan

Code Graphing

This lesson introduces students to coding through graphing. It can then be taken further by having the students act out the coding.
Rich S.
Technology coordinator
Mylan Park Elementary School
Morgantown, WV
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My Grades 3, 4, 5
EdTech Mentor

Students will be able to:

Understand coding terms:

  1. Algorithm-Set of instructions
  2. Command- Action step in a program
  3. Program-Finished set of commands and algorithms. 

Create a program for their peers to follow. 

Grades 3 - 5
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Direct Instruction

Activity: Presenting

1. The teacher will ask the students if they have ever heard of the word "algorithm". 

2. Then teacher teacher will ask for a volunteer to define the term. 

3. The teacher will introduce the term "command" and then ask the students to give their best definition. 

4. The teacher will then introduce the concept that as we speak different languages, computers have their own language, which is coding. 

Student Instructions

1. The students will sit at their tables and answer the questions prompted by the teacher. 


2 Guided Practice

Activity: Presenting
  1. The teacher will show the students a "code" using the English language. For example, using the words: up, down, left, right, and shade. The teacher will then have the students complete a graph using the following terms:
    1. Starting in the top right corner of the grid-right, shade, right, right, shade, down, left, shade, left, left, shade, left, down, right, shade, right, right, shade. (Shade will mean to fill in the box on the graph paper.)
  2. Next, the teacher will then show the same "program" using arrows for the direction and a squiggly line to represent shade. Using the same program the teacher asks the students write the program. 
Student Instructions

1. The students will read the instructions in English and "run" the program on the graph paper. 

2. The student will "run" the program using a different language, symbols instead of words. 


3 Independent Practice

Activity: Creating

1. The teacher will now ask the students to write their own program for their classmates to follow. 

Student Instructions

1. The students will write their own program using the same symbols as before and have their classmates "run" the program by graphing the commands. 

4 Wrap-up

Activity: Other — Movement Practice

1. Instead of graphing the original code presented, the teacher will have the students use their bodies to "run" the original program.

2. When the students have acted out the program, the teacher will reveal that they have created and acted out a code for a checker board.  

Student Instructions

1. The students will use their bodies and act out the program.