In Stage 2, students can develop computational thinking skills in applying abstract thinking to categorise objects, solve problems, design procedures and collect data. Students are introduced to the term ‘algorithm’, learning that algorithms are also procedures, and use simple coding programs.
- work in pairs, take turns to create a pattern on grid paper, then give oral instructions for their partner to re-create the pattern
- create a dialogue between two sprites in Scratch, eg performing a drama using dialogue from a text or by writing their own
- write a recount of an activity in another learning area
- write a procedure for an activity in another learning area
- use apps from websites such as Reading Rockets for assistance in reading, writing and spelling.
- investigate position and directions using visual coding programs such as Blockly
- celebrate Pi Day (ie 22/7 or 22 July) by investigating the properties of a circle using household objects:
- measure the circumference and the diameter
- use a calculator, spreadsheet or a programming language to calculate the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter (approximately 3.1415)
- collect data to illustrate a unit of work, eg living things, nationality of people in the class – use a digital graphing tool such as the graphs on the NCES Kids’ Zone site
- devise a method to sort unknown objects from lightest to heaviest – the CSUnplugged website has an activity showing one way to do this by applying a simple algorithm
- write an algorithm to solve a simple mathematical problem – view the YouTube clip What's an algorithm? by David J Malan
- write an algorithm (procedure) to draw a square, then open a simple coding program to draw a square
- draw 2D shapes using visual coding programs such as Pencil Code
- sort objects of unknown size or mass – view the YouTube clip Sorting Algorithms by CSUnplugged
- sort objects using other algorithms – view the YouTube clip Santa’s Dirty Sox
- analyse data from large data warehouses such as Gapminder.
Science and Technology
- research, design and build a solar cooker, then devise an experiment to determine if the solar cooker works, including developing a hypothesis and collecting data to confirm the hypothesis – sites such as Scootle, Hands On Science and Makey Makey have sample projects
- classify living things into groups, using same and different features to identify a range of similar items – eg leaves, lizards, dogs, flowers, people – then use a flow chart to demonstrate the process of classification – sites such as Scootle and BBC Bitesize have lessons on classification and pattern recognition
- use a spreadsheet with formulas to predict what might happen in an experiment if you change values
- Apply sorting algorithms and keys to various objects such as Feathers, Fur or Leaves.
- construct models that incorporate simple circuits, eg wire and batteries, squishy circuits or Makey Makey – there are numerous sites outlining circuit construction projects, including The Tinkering Studio and Squishy Circuits
- create, complete or duplicate pixel art using grid paper or online tools such as Make Pixel Art and Makey Makey, simulating pixels in onscreen artworks.
Physical Development, Health and Physical Education (PDHPE)
- collect data on personal and physical activities, then graph their results using graphing tools from sites such as Online Charts:
- keep a food diary and collect data on the food they consume most frequently
- keep an exercise diary and graph (anonymous) results individually and as a class
- collect data from school sport, PE, school games, house points and carnivals, then graph the results comparing age groups, boys vs girls, house groups, teams, activities, week by week, etc.
Human Society and Its Environment (HSIE)
- create online trading cards for historical figures – use templates from sites such as Read Write Think
- create a timeline of events relating to local history, or class events over the week, month or year – use templates from sites such as Read Write Think
- build games to tell the story of a historical figure or time period – use programs such as:
- use Google Earth or Google Maps to locate capital cities or landmarks, then mark them on a paper map – mark visited locations as ‘Favourites’ so they can be seen on the map when they zoom out
- design a game about Australia, including scoring, rules and procedures, eg include ‘chance’ cards with questions about places of interest or towns and cities in Australia
- create a scavenger hunt using a map of the school, including clues to locate items using QR codes or signs. Clues could include measurements and directions, eg Go 5 metres west then 15 metres north. Ask students to plot their path on their map. Note: A number of websites provide free QR code generation.