EYFS, KS1, KS2
English - Storytelling / instructional writing
Less than a lesson or about a lesson
Moving robots, eg Bee-bots / Pro-bots / Sphero / Lego Mind-storm / Raspberry Pi (depending on availability / level of child).
A easy to set up introduction / problem solving lesson, where pupils work in small groups to program a moving 'robot' to complete a 'rescue'.
NB: This lesson is written as for a KS2 audience, but can be adapted creatively according to age / ability.
Begin by introducing a 'victim' (princess in the tower / stranded astronaut / injured traveller) in the form of a teddy / inanimate object which is placed at the centre of the classroom. Starting from different locations within the classroom, groups of pupils are challenged to 'rescue' the victim by being the first or closest robot to reach the 'victim' within a certain time frame.
Set up the room, ensuring greater complexity by placing obstacles in the paths of the teams, (lego bricks, classroom items etc) which are not allowed to be 'touched' by the robot.
Groups then to be given time to practice and refine their coding, with the remit that they must then all begin from their starting points at the same time. Encourage recording of the instructions being used so that pupils are not just randomly guessing.
Once sufficient time has passed, allow the teams to test out their programmes to find a winning team.
Challenge more-able pupils by placing them further away from the centre, or putting more obstacles in their paths. A few 'dropped' items in the paths of the robots mid-lesson can also encourage further adapting.
Use the EHoMs wheel to encourage discussion about which principles the pupils have used during the session. Encourage evaluation of the processes and give pupils another chance to complete the task again if possible.
Make sure that each robot is sufficiently charged for the practice and testing phases. You don't want one stalling half way through the final test!