Tinkering with Blue-Bot (DLCS Lesson Plan 1)
1 Tinkering with Blue-Bot
Materials needed for this lesson:
5 Charged robots
Transparent Tape (For robot name labels)
Blue-Bot Diagram, one per student
5 Blue-Bot Shape, Color, and Size Mats
Blue-Bot Twister Cards
Program- A step-by-step guide for a computer (like a robot) to know what to do and how to react.
Tinkering-Figuring something out without directions.
Robot-A robot is a machine that gathers information about its environment and uses that information to follow instructions to do work. Built and controlled by humans.
Introduce students to Blue-Bot as a whole group. (Teachers will use their discretion as to how robot is introduced-can be on document camera or whole group on the rug.) “This is our new friend Blue-Bot. Blue-Bot is a robot. What do you know about robots? What are some things robots do? How do robots know what to do?” (Students should recognize that robots only do what they are told to do by humans.) Address misconceptions.
Have students brainstorm a list of tasks that robots might complete. Create a class chart. “Can you think of something you would want a robot to do for you?” (Students may suggest cleaning their room, doing their homework, etc.)
"You will work with your team to explore a Blue-Bot. You will figure it out by tinkering with it. Tinkering means figuring it out without someone telling you how. Tinker with your Blue-Bot to figure out how it works and what it is capable of."
Allow students to explore robot in small groups. Encourage students to come up with a name for their robot.
Teacher will visit each group to create robot name labels.
Monitor groups by asking questions such as:
What are the parts that make up your Blue-Bot? (Using the Blue-Bot diagram master)
What does it do?
How does it do that?
What else does it do?
Does anything surprise you?
Is there anything it can’t do?
What could make it better?
Did students discover all the parts of Blue-Bot?
Did students discover the functions of the buttons through tinkering?
2 Blue-Bot Discovery
Bring students back together for a whole group discussion. Suggested guiding questions:
What are some of the parts that make up your Blue-Bot? (Wheels, Forward Button, Back, Turn Right, Turn Left, Clear, Pause, and Go.)
What are some similarities and differences between the buttons on the robot and what you did in Code.org?
What are some things you discovered about your Blue-Bot?
How did tinkering help you learn about the Blue-Bot?
Can you tell me or show me how it works? Give groups opportunities to show what they were able to get their Blue-Bot to do as time permits.
When you were working with the Blue-Bot, was there a time that it did not do what you told it to do? Is there anything the robot can’t do?
Say, “What we are doing as we press the buttons is programming the Blue-Bot to do what we tell it to do. This is how all robots operate.”
Have students add Blue-Bot Diagram to their science notebook.
Were students able to communicate or show how Blue-Bot works, including its abilities and its limitations?
Did students correctly label the robot’s parts on their diagrams?
3 Blue-Bot in Action
Students play Blue-Bot Twister in groups.
Introduce students to the mat pointing out the geometric shapes and their attributes. Students take turns drawing two Blue-Bot Twister Cards. The first card drawn is the starting location and the second card drawn is the destination for the robot. Groups work cooperatively to program their robot to get from the start to the finish. (Tip: You may want to designate jobs for students if they are having trouble sharing the programming responsibilities.)
Were students able to successfully program their robot to move from a starting point to an ending point?