Move It, Move It

Play a fun, collaborative, and hands-on activity to introduce students to “programming”!
Ages 5-10 / 45
min Activity
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Objectives

  • Learn about programming through a collaborative exercise in which they use hand gestures to convey a series of steps (or “algorithm”) to a classmate
  • ‍Work together to create and share algorithms to successfully navigate a maze—without speaking!

Supporting Research

Research shows that playing cooperative games increases harmony by fostering teamwork, positive attitudes towards group work, and other prosocial behaviors. During this activity, educators should encourage students to practice mindfulness as they regulate their own emotions and behaviors, and diplomacy, kindness, and collaboration as they respectfully work with each other to solve the challenge! 

To learn more about these skills, and how they promote students’ healthy growth and the development of empathy, please check out our Empathy Framework.

Activity Partners

Instructions

  1. Use this video to introduce the activity to your students: a collaborative exercise in which they will practice “programming” with each other by using hand gestures to convey a series of steps (or “algorithm”). These steps will guide students to successfully navigate a maze together!
  2. Divide up your class into groups of 2–4 students, and provide each group with a copy of this activity packet

    Before students start the exercise, consider setting expectations for how students should work together in order to achieve their common goal: reaching the end of the maze! For example, students should practice patience with each other (it’s okay to make mistakes!), use kind and respectful language when “debugging” their instructions, and take turns being the “Walking Machine” and “Controller.”
  3. Guide students through a post-activity reflection by asking the following questions:
    • What were some strategies that you used to work together to solve the maze?
    • Did you encounter any challenges? How did you solve them (or what would you do differently next time)?
    • Why is collaboration an important skill to practice? What are some other ways that we can continue practicing this skill in our class?

If students in both classes have individual devices (e.g., mobile phone, tablet, laptop, etc.)...

Use a platform such as Google Meet, Zoom, or Microsoft Teams which allows you to screen-share during a video call. 
One educator should set up the Kahoot! game and share the code with students in both classes by following this tutorial about using Kahoot! in a remote learning environment, and share their screen so everyone can follow along.

If students in either class don’t have individual devices...

Follow the same instructions above, with one educator starting the game and sharing their screen so both classes can follow along.  
Instead of students joining the game to answer the questions, they can hold up their fingers, call out their answer, or use a paper template to indicate their response.

If you prefer not using Kahoot!...

Use this document (Spanish version) to prompt students.