Today's students need to know the fundamentals of coding and computing; they are now as important to learning as reading, writing and mathematics. Smart educators are introducing programming across the curriculum and understand the potential of different subjects to spike the coding interest in curious minds.
Here are five coding activities that will help you incorporate coding into different lessons:
- Kits that combine hardware and software elements, such as SAM Labs, are a great way to inspire creativity. . One of my favorites is an alarm system lesson SAM Labs offers. It supports problem-solving skills.
- Assign a long-term project that can be implemented across different areas. Ask students to design a new board game; you can add a dash of history with the theme, use 3D printing to create the pieces, English and computational thinking to write the instructions, and math to work out probability.
- Use games to unite the class; you could even organize a gaming day across the whole school. Choose a theme, make it interactive, collect badges and give out prizes. Look for free resources, such as the SAM Space app, where you can encourage students to create a fastest finger first game using their keyboards. Students compete to be the first to remove their finger when the light changes color!
- Junk modeling is a great way to combine your art lesson with coding. Provide recyclables such as egg cartons and juice boxes to create structures. Students unleash their creativity and could then use coding to bring their models to life.
- Build a voting machine. Teach students about politics and the voting process by using coding blocks to host a mock election. It can also be used for other important decisions, like what to have for lunch. Check out YouTube for SAM Labs video for building a "NO cheat voting box."
The possibilities for coding projects across subjects is only limited by your imagination. If you’re inspired by the above activities, I encourage you to collaborate with your colleagues to develop strategies for implementing cross-curricular coding activities. You’ll open new door for both your students and yourself in the process. Dream Big, and the results will happen in your students minds and your classroom!
Jennifer Passi is an instructional coach at River Ridge Elementary in Austin, Texas. She is also a SAM Labs SAMbassador and loves contributing to new ways of thinking in educational technology.
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