I am PASSIONATE about coding in the classroom! Several years ago when I introduced coding to my young Grade 3 friends, I created an unplugged activity called Robot Man. I used Robot Man to introduce programming prior to ever having the students handle a real robot. Robot Man is simply a sketch I made using shapes within Google Slides. The goal is for students to work as partners to draw Robot Man. The catch? Only one student can see him! The other student acts as the human robot drawing only what the “programmer” says.
Through the years Robot Man has become a bit like Flat Stanley traveling to numerous states within the US and even Canada. I have shared him everywhere from Cornell Tech in New York City with adult learners to an elementary school in Ball, LA with young students. Once shared he just travels due to his ease of use and guarantee to get people coding in a low-stress, low-prep manner. Like an old friend, I see him pop up in my Twitter feed with regularity. The best part…Robot Man doesn’t require devices. All you need is a sheet of paper and a pencil for this unplugged activity.
I have been in Southern California for most of this month working with elementary and middle schools. One school, whose staff is intentional about incorporating the 4 C’s, hosts a daily Makerspace during lunch time. So for this year’s Hour of Code, I wanted to add to their Makerspace fun by expanding the Robot Man collection. I obviously can’t show you the ear to ear smiles on the students’ faces due to school safety rules. But I can most definitely attest that like the first sketches, the new drawings are a hit.
Snag the activity here and use the hashtag #RobotMan to share his adventures on social media. I would love to connect with you and track his travels!