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Nature art

Unit of work

4 lessons


7-11 yrs

Four lessons designed for students aged 7-8 years as an introduction to computational thinking and the BBC micro:bit. They learn how to create nature abstractions by taking a nature walk, using art materials and then using the LEDs on micro:bit.

They'll develop an understanding of several key computational thinking concepts, including logical reasoning, abstraction, algorithms and evaluation.

Students then develop their programming and debugging skills and are introduced to working with outputs.

Computational thinking:



Digital arts:





Overall key learning

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

Additional skills

Creative thinking, collaboration, problem-solving.

Lesson 1: Representing nature

In this ‘unplugged’ lesson, pupils take a nature walk and then use art techniques to represent they images they collect. They consider rules and processes of working with different materials and develop their computational thinking skills. 

Key learning:

  • To use logical reasoning when making predictions
  • To abstract relevant detail from a nature image
  • To create nature representations using a variety of art materials
Lesson 1 details

Lesson 2: Art algorithms

In this ‘unplugged’ lesson, pupils recap their understanding of algorithms before writing their own algorithms to show how they created their nature representations in lesson 1 of the 'Nature art' unit.

Key learning:

  • To know and understand what algorithms are
  • To write algorithms with clear instructions
  • To test and debug algorithms
Lesson 2 details

Lesson 3: Digital nature representations

Pupils are introduced to the BBC micro:bit and how images can be created using the LEDs. They create visual algorithms to plan simple images before writing programs using the MakeCode editor to create their images.

Key learning:

  • To understand that LEDs can be used to create image representations.
  • To plan LED image representations.
  • To construct programs to display LED image representations with the micro:bit.
Lesson 3 details

Lesson 4: Programming & evaluating representations

Pupils plan and program LED images using MakeCode to represent some of the nature they observed on their walk. They then evaluate their LED art in simple ways and reflect how they have used computational thinking in their learning. 

Key learning:

  • To use logical reasoning to predict the output of programs
  • To plan and construct algorithms and programs to create LED image representations
  • To evaluate programs
Lesson 4 details

These lessons are mapped to the following learning objectives and standards for computing, and art and design: