Hands-on learning is a great way to get to grips with coding

Rikke Bergreen Paaskesen,
Curriculum specialist and Educational advisor
Odense, Denmark

KUBO’s simple programming language really supports students’ efforts to learn the syntax of coding language. Students learn to code physically, practicing and debugging as they go, by simply replacing or changing the sequence of TagTiles® in front of them and observing as KUBO executes commands. The syntax becomes immediately transparent, and in this way, students are able to get to grips with coding.  

By combining tinkering activities and hands-on coding, students are able to be more creative in several ways. Firstly, they are not tied to a screen. They can move around the classroom to see how other groups practice and create their own code and solutions. 

Secondly, when children physically construct solutions, they are more able to express and develop their ideas. They are in charge and empowered. Plus, by working hands-on they are collaborating with others continuously, exchanging and building on each other’s ideas. 

An open-ended approach to learning, working with design narratives and scenarios, speaks to children’s cognitive, creative, emotional, and social development. There is also more natural interaction between the robot and the students, which provides greater opportunities for storytelling, while simultaneously controlling robot behaviors.

Ideas for tinkering activities combining creativity, code and playfulness:

If you are keen to implement more creative coding lessons, we recommend using the KUBO Coding+ TagTile Set along with your KUBO Coding set, because it allows students to design more playful and creative scenarios. KUBO Coding+ TagTiles introduce dimensions of speed, direction, distance, and time.

For example, using the gym map, students can code KUBO to run from one side of the basketball field to the other, score a goal, turn 180 degrees, wait 10 seconds at the benches and finally move slowly to the fruit stand to get some refreshments and recover from his game.

KUBO inspirational activities also offer lots of playful ways to teach basic coding terminology. For example, in the activity Algorithm Ant, the concept of an algorithm is introduced to students as they create their own maps and code KUBO (the ant) to collect and store food in a colony. The students break down the steps it takes for KUBO to complete this task and in this way become familiar with what an algorithm is in a very literal and tangible way. 

For more tips and lesson plan ideas take a look at our Cross-curricular Activities here