Fifth Graders Learn Programming Concepts Without Computers

Fifth graders in Middle School Science Teacher Branson Lawrence’s class have been going over the basics of coding in a unique way – using no computer at all!

Students gathered outdoors and were split into pairs, and each partner held a different role. One partner would be the “coder/programmer” and was given pictures of different shapes on a piece of paper. The other partner was given a “computer” (a folder that blocked their work from the sight of their coder) and could not see the pattern or ask questions. The coders would then relay directions on how to make their pattern to their partners.

“The students were demonstrating the importance of detailed algorithms in coding by giving their partners instructions on how to make specific patterns with their blocks,” said Mr. Lawrence.

The students had enough pattern blocks on hand that no one shared materials and the copies of the pages were recycled when the activity was over. It was certainly a unique way to show the importance of following instructions closely when coding or programming.