If your students haven’t played Lightbot before, you may like to run through the basics of Lesson 1. Even though lesson 1 is aimed at Foundation Phase or Key Stage 1, the concepts can be grasped in the lesson introduction with older children. This lesson focusses on level 2: “Jumping”.
- Interactive whiteboard
- PC’s, laptops or iPads 1:2 pupils
Aims – To understand the importance of giving the correct commands in the correct order in order for a program to run. To reinforce the importance of checking commands by running a program before completion.
Skip to Level 2 on Lightbot Jr and recap on the 5 commands displayed at the bottom of the screen. Invite one child up to write the first program. If he/she finds it difficult to work out if they need to command Lightbot to move forward and jump or to just jump in order to move up one block, remind them that they can use the green play button before completing the program in order to check their commands.
Invite others up to the interactive whiteboard to complete stages 2, 3 and 4. When the class has reached stage 5, they will see that they have a choice of direction. Discuss with them if they think it matters which direction they choose. Ask one child to come and try commanding Lightbot to jump 2 blocks.
It is at this stage that left and right turns start to become confusing. Again, it is really useful to remind them to run their program as they add each new command – this will save them from having to delete and rewrite large chunks of the program!
For the last 3 stages of Level 2, send them off in pairs to practise and experiment. When they discover new ‘rules’ (e.g. Lightbot cannot move diagonally/Lightbot can jump down multiple blocks) share these with the class. Remind them regularly to test or run their program as they write it.
When they’ve cleared Level 2 gather the children together and ask them to recap on what they’ve learnt. You can refer to these as “The Rules of Lightbot” or “success Criteria” etc. Here are some pointers:
- You have to give the right commands in the right order.
- You should check your program by ‘running’ it as you write it.
- To move up and forward one a block, you only need command Lightbot to “jump”.
- Lightbot cannot jump up more than one block.
- Lightbot can jump down multiple blocks.
- Lightbot cannot move diagonally.