Lesson Plan

Coding Unplugged with Pac-Man Tag

Students learn about programming and coding through an unplugged activity
Amanda V.
Classroom teacher
Jefferson Elementary, Fort Riley, KS
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Students will be able to...

  • Work collaboratively
  • Learn about the basics of directions involved in coding/programming
  • Utilize problem solving skills
  • Learn to read/follow game rules/directions
English Language Arts
Grades 3 - 5
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Directions for "Unplugged" Pac-Man Tag

Activity: Other — Unplugged "Coding"

Coding Club “Unplugged” Pac-Man Tag Rules/Game Play

Object: For “Ghosts” to tag “Pac Mans” or “Pac Mans’ to eliminate “Ghosts” with “Power Pellets”

There are ___ number of “Pac Man” and ___ number of “Ghost” players at a time (equal number of “Pac Man” to “Ghost” players)

Players will be divided into teams and decide who will be their team player on the “game board” (gym)

All players must stay on the green or blue lines and cannot jump from one line to another

Game starts when players are given the “run” command by the game leader (and by “run” we mean “quick walk”)

As a team, you must “code” your player with the following commands:

“turn right”;  “turn left”;  “go up” (forward); “go down” (backward); "if corner turn”; “if player turn around”

A player can only go in the directions they’ve been “coded” to go – if a team hasn’t given their player the “code” you must continue doing the command you’ve been given (i.e. if you’ve only been given “go up” you must continue to “go up” until your team rescues you and brings you another “code.”)

If a “Pac Man” gets tagged by a “Ghost” he/she must sit immediately and cannot get back up. The “Pac Man” becomes a roadblock to all other “Pac Mans”

A “Ghost” must have a “code” to tag a “Pac Man”

“If  Pac-Man , then tag"

A “Pac Man” can eliminate a “Ghost” (they return back to their team) if they have the “code” to pick up “Power Pellet” and the “code” to tag a “Ghost” with the “Power Pellet”

“If Power Pellet, Pick Up”

“When have Power Pellet, Tag Ghost”

Only 1 Power Pellet for each Pac Man

A “Ghost” can go around or turn around at a “Pac Man Roadblock” if their team has given them the “code” to do so

“if road block – go around"

“if road block – turn around 180*”

Game Ends when either all “Pac Mans” are sitting as road blocks or all “Ghosts” have been eliminated with “Power Pellets”

Student Instructions

Programming Commands Sheet

Commands for “Ghosts”

“if Pac-Man road block – go around”

“if Pac-Man road block – turn around 180*"

“If  Pac-Man, then tag” 

“turn right"

“turn left”

“go up” (forward)

“go down” (backward) 

"if corner turn”

“if player turn around”

Programming Commands Sheet

Commands for “Pac Mans”

“If Power Pellet , Pick Up”

“When have Power Pellet, Tag Ghost”

Only 1 Power Pellet for each Pac Man

“turn right”; “turn left"; “go up” (forward);  “go down” (backward); "if corner turn”; “if player turn around”