Unsolved mysteries

Nicola Kleiser,
Educational Technology Consultant
United Kingdom

With the memory of the festive holidays fading fast this blog is here to give you some inspiration for back-to-school activities with KUBO.

This activity is designed to build on students’ knowledge of routes, functions, and loops. They are going to play KUBO detective! Can they work out the TagTiles® used to create the function for KUBO? It’s a great activity to get students to use logical reasoning to predict the behavior of simple programs and to solve problems by decomposing them into smaller parts.

Before the lesson, set up your KUBO Robot by recording the functions shown below, but don’t show the students the function. Afterward, ask your students to play the blue function. Can they figure out which TagTiles are you used?

Get your students to write the function or build it with TagTiles. This will get the students to use logic and reasoning to predict the original function. It will also be a great discussion point for the groups.  Finally, show them the original function for comparison, did they get it right?

Students may find this easier if KUBO is on a blank grid, these can be printed from our lesson plans on the KUBO website here.

Next step

Let’s move on and add even more skills to this fun activity. Ask your students whether they can work out a function that includes loops? This is a great task to develop decomposition skills! From the example above, ask the students to play the red function.

You can either have your students record the moves on paper or have them use TagTiles. Ask them to identify which bit of the function loops and how many times.

To extend this activity even further, try using functions that have some of the TagTiles outside of the loop, like the example shown below.

Group Work Ideas

Have students build their own functions and swap KUBO Robots with other groups once they have recorded their function. They can be given suggestions such as: Use no more than 5 TagTiles; the total number of moves must not exceed 20 (including loops) etc. 

Older students should be able to write the function out on a blank sheet. Younger students may benefit from using the preprinted boxes. 

This activity should really help consolidate students’ computational skills and develop their ability to decompose problems.

Have fun and we’d love to see your variations on this activity.