Teaching programing to my kids! A Lesson about Instructions!
NOTE: This post is part of the www.binarykids.org, a website dedicated to teaching programming to kids.
A computer itself is a pretty dumb machine! It is not capable of doing anything by itself. Fortunately, computer is really good at following instructions. Instructions is the core concept of developing software. We issue instructions to the computer and the character on the screen jumps. A different set of instructions can make a fairy fly or turn a frog into a prince or even shoot a fireball at the mean dragon.
I started with a story about a princess who wanted to go on an adventure. The paper cutout princess started on a beautiful scenery that I created and which my kids colored using crayons. Unfortunately, the princess came across fire which blocked her from moving forward.
If only we have some way of telling the princess to jump, we can pass the fire!
Luckily, this lesson is about instructions and we can consult our instruction set. The instruction set is made up of two small cutouts which simply say “JUMP”. You can have as many instructions in your instruction set as you want. In most scenarios your story will dictate the instruction set. In my scenario the only instructions I need is a set of jumps.
I asked my kids to place the jump instructions where they wanted the princess to jump and they quickly placed the jump on top of the fire. Then they moved the princess forward and as per the instruction jumped on top of the fire. The princess was unharmed and continued on her quest.
The blue line in the above picture was done by my son (3). I decided to keep it original and leave the line there!
You can even join multiple scenes to create a much bigger story and an extended instruction set as shown below:
As you can see above I have joined two scenes together and added “CLIMB” to the instruction set.
My daughter has the freedom to color the tree anyway she wants so she choose not green color.
My kids in action drawing and coloring the scenes!
I really had fun teaching the basics of instructions to my kids and also the implications of the instructions. Now, I have an assignment for all you parents. Follow the above lesson and create your scenes and instruction set. You can then Tweet your work to @WeAreBinaryKids. Also you can send me an email at WeAreBinaryKids@gmail.com and I will be more than happy to share your awesome work with the rest of the community.
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