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Mouse Game Programming Activity

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Mouse Game Programming ActivitySubject Area(s) Computer programming; mathematical reasoningAssociated Unit Scratch computer programmingAssociated Lesson N/AActivity Title Scratch Mouse Game Programming Activity Header Picture of the mouse game before and after a point is scoredGrade Level _6_ (_5_-_7_)Grade Level _6_ (_5_-_7_)Activity Dependency None Time Required 30 minutesGroup Size IndividualExpendable Cost per Group $0Summary Engineering ConnectionKeywordsEducational StandardsPre-Requisite KnowledgeLearning ObjectivesAfter this lesson, students should be able to:Materials ListEach group needs:To share with the entire class:Introduction / MotivationVocabulary / DefinitionsProcedureSafety IssuesTroubleshooting TipsInvestigating QuestionsWhat kinds of toys and entertainment do computer programmers have a role in? What would our life be like without computer programming and computer scientists? For how many years has the computer been available for everyday household use? What did the first computers look like?AssessmentActivity ExtensionsLet the students create their own program, any activity that involves looped behavior either a finite number of times or until some condition is met. There is ample room for the students creativity with the Scratch environment.URLhttp://scratch.mit.edu/downloadOwnerContributorsDara Kusic, Quincy Brown, Bill Mongan, Elaine GabarineCopyrightDrexel-SDP GK-12 ACTIVITY Mouse Game Programming Activity Subject Area(s) Computer programming; mathematical reasoning Associated Unit Scratch computer programming Associated Lesson N/A Activity Title Scratch Mouse Game Programming Activity Header Picture of the mouse game before and after a point is scored Grade Level _6_ (_5_-_7_) Grade Level _6_ (_5_-_7_) Activity Dependency None Time Required 30 minutes Group Size IndividualExpendable Cost per Group $0 Summary In this activity, students will use the Scratch computer programming environment available for free download from MIT. The objective is for students understand the connection between “looping,” a common computer programming technique for encoding an action multiple times, and multiplication in context, an arithmetic technique as applied to a problem in the real world. The higher level objective is for students to strengthen their logical and mathematical reasoning skills while gaining some proficiency with computer programming and exposure to the career choice of computer science. Students will be following instructions to design a single-player game, where the opponent is the computer, to test the player’s ability to maneuver the mouse to a randomly-chosen x-y coordinate on the Scratch stage. The game works as follows: -- Students will receive a working “Cherry Picker” program, as depicted in the screen shot. The problem is as follows: -- the cherry picker can jump and pick 8 cherries at a time -- the cherry picker’s basket can only hold 100 cherries -- how many times can the cherry picker jump without overflowing his basket?? The point is for students to visualize multiplication/division and when to round up/down to the nearest integer. In other words, the cherry picker can only jump 9 times without overflowing his basket. The Scratch programming environment allows children to build computer programs using colorful, easy-to-understand building blocks much like Legos that can be dragged and dropped onto the page. Students will receive a working but “buggy” program in which the cherry picker is “looped” to jump to the tree too many times, thus overflowing his basket as shown in the picture above. The students will have the job that a real computer programmer often has, to “debug” the program by changing the number of times that the jumping activity is looped. Evaluation and discussion is an important part of this activity. The activity will be followed by a discussion of how the students figured out how many times the cherry picker should have jumped (counting?? Subtracting?? Dividing??) and how they were able to fix the program. There will also be a discussion of how “looping,” whether in a computer program or in real life is just like multiplying and rounding in the appropriate direction. (e.g. suppose the students have a 4-1/2 day week at school. How many times to the students have to get up and get dressed for school? How many times do they pass through the door of the school?) 2Engineering Connection Students will be doing the job of a computer scientist or computer engineer – “debugging” a computer program. Keywords Computer science, computer programming, technology, computer-aided instruction, Scratch, computer, mathematical reasoning Educational Standards • Science: Technological Devices 3.7 (A. Tools, C. Computer Software) • Math: Mathematical Reasoning and Connections 2.4 Pre-Requisite Knowledge None Learning Objectives After this lesson, students should be able to: • Understand what a loop in computer programming does • Understand how a loop in computer programming is like multiplication in math • Be able to reason about when to round a number up or down, depending on the context of the problem Materials List Each group needs: • A computer with the Scratch programming environment installed To share with the entire class: • A projector for showing the image on a large screen Introduction / Motivation There is so much in children’s school, play, and home life that would not be possible without computers. Imagine not having any computer generated graphics in the movies. No Batman? No Finding Nemo? No Transformers? Unthinkable! Imagine life without calculators. Would we use an abacus? Our fingers? Paper and pencil? Computer programs are made by people just like us who understand how to tell a computer what to do in language that the computer understands. The instructions have to be short and very, very simple. How would we tell a computer to find the lunchroom if it didn’t have “eyes?” Computer programs use a lot of the logic and repeated instructions that we use every day and just don’t realize it. For example, how do you decide to take an umbrella? (“If it is raining, or if my Mom tells me that it might rain, then I take an umbrella. Else, I leave the umbrella at home.”) How do know how many shoes to put on? (“For each foot, put on one shoe.”) The students already use the


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