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Collection of Reviewed Teaching Resources

Let’s go into Orbit: Solar System with block-based programming platform Tynker

Subject taught
- Physics
- Technology

Link
https://www.tynker.com/weekly-projects/solar-system/teacher-guide.pdf

Type of Product
- Exercises
- Gamification
- Lesson Plans
- Online lab
- Web Site/Portal

Language Skills Developed
- Interaction
- Reading

Transferable/Scientific Skills Developed
Students will develop observing skills, analytical skills, critical thinking skills, problem-solving skills, coding skills, computer literacy skills.

Description
General aims:
• Design, use and evaluate computational abstractions that model the state and behaviour of real-world problems and physical systems
• Create, reuse, revise and repurpose digital artefacts for a given audience, with attention to trustworthiness, design and usability
• Understand a range of ways to use technology safely, respectfully, responsibly and securely, including protecting their online identity and privacy; recognise inappropriate content, contact and conduct, and know how to report concerns

Subject (Astronomy and programing) specific aims:
- To get to know about Solar System, it’s structure
- To apply coding concepts such as simple sound playing, simple loops, advanced costume handling, delays, simple motion, direction and turning, simple drawing
- To use code blocks to create an interactive model of the Solar System

Linguistic aims:
- to read English with ease
- to understand content
- to learn from written texts
- to enable students to understand topic correctly
- to translate words connected with the topic from English into the mother tongue.

This task is aimed at students of 10-14 years old.
Level of competence in English (CEFR): B1 +/B2
Time Required: 55 minutes
Needed material: computers, laptops or tablets with an internet connection

Getting Started (10 minutes)
1. Teacher tells students that they are going to create their own Solar System model using Tynker online program (https://www.tynker.com/hour-of-code/solar-system).
2. Together review the order of the planets, starting with the planet closest to the sun: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune. According the need Pluto also can be included, its position is after Neptune.
3. Optional: Create a silly sentence or song to help students remember the order of the planets. For example, “My very educated mother just sang us nine poems.”
4. As a class, create a list of facts about the different planets in the Solar System. Teacher writes the facts on the classroom board so students can use this as a resource for their project. For example, make a note that Pluto has been demoted from its planet status and is now considered a dwarf planet.

Do It Yourself Module (30 minutes)
This lesson has one DIY (do-it-yourself) module. Facilitate as students complete the Solar System module on their own:
1. In this DIY project, students will create an interactive model of the Solar System.
2. Teacher tells students to follow the step-by-step instructions and drag code blocks from the tutorial tab to the center coding area.
3. “Steps 4-5” of the tutorial require students to manually change the value of the “move,” “turn,” and “wait” code blocks. Note: Students are provided the necessary values, which are located towards the bottom of “Step 5.”
4. Do students want to modify their project? They can be directed their attention to “Steps 9-11” of the tutorial, which include bonus activities:
- Add extra information - use the provided “show dialog
with” code block and manually type in facts about the planets. Students can be reminded to use the facts on the classroom board (as noted in the “Getting Started” section of this teacher guide) as a reference.
- Draw rainbow orbit paths - use the provided “change pen
color by” code block, and explore what happens if they increase the
number inside the code block.
- Change the planet Actors - draw own planet Actors. Tutorials how to draw an Actor on Tynker (if needed): https://www.tynker.com/support/videos.

Possible difficulties for the students:
Students are required a basic understanding of block-based programming logic and be familiarized with the Solar System, it’s structure, characteristics.

Comments
Strengths: students learn the structure of the Solar System, but also develop programming and English skills. All surrounding of the platform is playful and tutorial encourages to do everything step-by-step. Weakness: Students who have poor knowledge of English may have difficulties to understand the topic and to finish their project successfully. Teacher should consider to have lesson about the Solar System before this activity that students would be able to apply the new knowledge on the online platform Tynker. Scientific reliability: The source is scientifically reliable as correspond to U.K. Standards - National Curriculum in England (computing): - Design, use and evaluate computational abstractions that model the state and behaviour of real-world problems and physical systems - Create, reuse, revise and repurpose digital artefacts for a given audience, with attention to trustworthiness, design and usability - Understand a range of ways to use technology safely, respectfully, responsibly and securely, including protecting their online identity and Solar System Teacher Guide privacy; recognise inappropriate content, contact and conduct, and know how to report concerns. Pedagogical values: language development across the curriculum, interdisciplinary, teaching complex thinking, teaching through technologies, contextualization, empowering creativity and imagination, experimenting with block-based programming.

Related Video Lessons

Let's go in to orbit!