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Unit of work

Volcano animations

Computational thinking, Geography, Programming | MakeCode | 7-11 yrs

Lessons summary

This series of five lessons is aimed at pupils aged 8-9 years (KS2 Year 4 in England, Grade 3 in the USA). Through a mixture of fun unplugged and programming activities related to animations, pupils develop their understanding of decomposition, flowchart algorithms and repetition. They then write, program and test an animation showing volcanic eruption using the LEDs on the BBC micro:bit.

The unit comprises five lesson of approximately 60 minutes each:

  1. Unplugged lesson decomposing dance sequences and flipbook animations
  2. Using flowchart algorithms and exploring repetitions in the MakeCode editor
  3. Unplugged lesson decomposing and planning volcanic eruption animations
  4. Programming in MakeCode and reviewing and micro:bit animations
  5. Unplugged lesson decomposing the unit’s learning

Learning objectives

  • can understand and apply the fundamental principles and concepts of computer science, including abstraction, logic, algorithms and data representation
  • have repeated practical experience of writing computer programs in order to solve problems 
  • can evaluate and apply information technology
  • are responsible, competent, confident and creative users of information and communication technology

Additional skills

Creative thinking, collaboration, problem-solving, debugging.

You will need

Downloadable resources:

  • Lesson plan
  • Lesson slides
  • Student handouts
  • HEX files

Other resources:

  • glue
  • MakeCode editor
  • micro:bits (optional)
  • paper - large sheets
  • paper - writing
  • pens
  • scissors
  • sticky notes
  • student work from previous lesson