Make Friends with the Zombies Coding Algorithm Activity

Coding in the Early Years

“Coding” is a scary (well for many of us) computer term that describes the sequence of instructions that that a “coder” has created in order to tell a program or computer (or phone, or clock, or car, or pretty much any piece of technology) what to do. It’s basically like a recipe- do this, this and this, then this will happen. This is referred to as an Algorithm (a process or set of rules that must be followed in calculations or other problem-solving operations, especially by a computer). The ability to create code (to write algorithms that computers understand) is becoming more of a “must have” in our world, and so it is important that we teach children the fundamentals. This activity will provide a starting point in learning how to create a set of instructions to be followed in order to reach a goal.

 

You will need:

“Zombies Are People Too” Story Grid Printable

Arrow cards- up/down, left, right

Story- Zombies Are People Too

 

 

 

 

What to do:

Step 1:

Start by reading “Zombies Are People Too”

 

Step 2:

Discuss how you are going to create a set of instructions (an algorithm) on the grid using the arrows to meet some of the zombies from the story, following the numbers.

Step 3:

Start at the beginning- Which zombie do you meet first in the story? Start there. Ask the children who you meet next, and ask them whether they need to go up, down, left or right to get to Zombie 2.

Step 4:

Count how many squares you need to move in that direction, and add arrow cards to those boxes until you reach Zombie 2 (Alternatively, you could just draw arrows).

Step 5:

Discuss which zombie you meet next, and ask “How do we get there? Up, Down, Right or Left?” Add the arrows to show the path from Zombie 2 to Zombie 3.

Step 6:

Continue with this process until you reach the last zombie.

 

This activity can also be used on a larger scale, with the use of coding bots like “Bee Bots” or “Jack the Robot Mouse” Learning Resources STEM Programmable Robot Mouse.