Note: Some of my products have some “out there” ideas. Make sure to look at the preview before purchasing. Everyone's classroom is unique and while these lessons work within my classroom, that may not be the case in another’s room.
"Now it's time to leave the capsule if you dare
"This is Major Tom to Ground Control
I'm stepping through the door
And I'm floating in a most peculiar way."
-Space Oddity by David Bowie
One may find it odd that I teach small coding lessons in my Language Arts classes. However, I look at these activities, in the same manner I do with any form of writing or communication. When I teach my students to write, I don't do it, because I expect them to all become published authors. I teach them to write, because it's an integral form of communication. I look at coding in the same manner. The children today really should have some experience with coding. It's a form of communication that is more prevalent in society each and every day.
Therefore, Wake Up Sunshine
, is proud to bring you Adrift with Java: Learning Java Coding Basics in Space!
With this simple and affordable guide, the students will be presented the very basics of Java coding language. The students will then watch various video clips of my play through of the phenomenal video game, Adrft
, by 505 Games
Overall, I do one activity as a mini-lesson each day throughout the guide. I follow the provided routine below when working with the guide:
Introduce the basics of Java Language.
Complete one activity per day →
—Introduce the basics of Java Language (pp. 7 - 8).
—Complete one activity per day.
-Data Type 1: int (pp. 9 - 11)
-Data Type 2: Boolean (pp. 12 - 14)
-Data Type 3: char (pp. 15 - 17)
-Variables (pp. 17 - 19)
-Whitespace (pp. 21 - 24)
-Comments (pp. 25 - 28)
-Math +, -, *, / (pp. 30 - 33)
-Math % (pp. 34 - 37)
-Relational Operators (pp. 38 - 42)
-Equality Operators (pp. 43 - 46)
Spot Check Assessment 1
Part 1 Assessment
-Boolean Operators && (pp. 51 - 54)
-Boolean Operators || (pp. 55 - 58)
-Boolean Operators ! (pp. 59 - 62)
-Boolean Operators && || ! (pp. 63 - 66)
-Conditional Expressions “if” (pp. 67 - 71)
-Conditional Expressions “if/else) (pp. 72 - 76)
Spot Check Assessment 2
Part 2 Assessment
-Class (pp. 81 - 83)
-Constructor (pp. 84 - 86)
-Instance Variable (87 - 89)
-Parameters (90 - 92)
-Objects (93 - 95)
-Method (96 - 98)
Final Test Answer Key
I suggest that the teacher completes some of these activities as a practice run through, before implementing in class. This is not a simple copy/handout and expecting the students to know it all. As noted by Benjamin Franklin, "By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail."
By practicing a little, the educator will feel much more prepared to let their students give these activities a try.
Keep in mind, the goal is not necessarily to get every coding challenge correct . . . you may not. Regardless, the students are exercising their brains, and thereby reaping the benefits.
Included in the Guide →
4 Core Standards Met
5 Why Coding for My Students?
6 How I Teach with the Guide
7 What is Java Language?
8 - 10 Data Type 1: int
11 - 13 Data Type 2: Boolean
14 - 16 Data Type 3: char
17 - 19 Variables
20 - 23 Whitespace
24 - 27 Comments
28 - 32 Math +, -, *, /
33 - 37 Math %
38 - 42 Relational Operators
43 - 46 Equality Operators
47 - 48 Spot Check Assessment and Key
49 - 50 Part 1 Assessment and Key
51 - 54 Boolean Operators &&
55 - 58 Boolean Operators ||
59 - 62 Boolean Operators !
63 - 66 Boolean Operators &&, ||, !
67 - 70 Conditional Expressions: if
71 - 74 Conditional Expressions: if/else
75 - 76 Spot Check 2 Assessment and Key
77 - 78 Part 2 Assessment and Key
Keep in mind . . .
1. I buy the game.
2. I play the game.
3. I make the videos while playing the game.
4. I create the educational activities, which correlate with the game's concepts.
5. I complete the unit guide.
6. I contact and talk to the game's creators to get their blessing on promoting my guides.
In my own classroom, I've had great success with my other video game and educational resources linked below.
Link-Motivate Teenage Writers with Video Games: The Dyatlov Pass Incident
Link-Look at Me! I'm Learning to Code!
Link-Playing with Fire: Literary Activities to Inspire Students in the Digital Age
Link-Sane in the Membrane: Brain Empowering Activities
Link-Carried Off to Rapture - Analyzing Video Game Narrative
In the end, the key, as an educator, is to be willing to go out of one’s comfort zone and be ready to try something new and innovative. If the results mirror my own classroom, you may be surprised at what your students are able to do!
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