I teach grade three in Queensland Australia. To begin my very first lessons in Computer Science with them I would start with every student having their own Grid Book. This will be our Computer Code Book. From the beginning I want them to be excited and feel that this brand new curricula area is heaps of fun.
My first lesson would take place with me writing on the whiteboard and the whole class listening and participating. I would start with a 4x4 square and tell the students that I want the "robot" to move across the grid and colour in alternate squares to make a checker pattern. I would then write each command for the first row. E.g. Move right one square. Colour in the square. Move right one square. Move right one square. Colour in the square. Then I would get the class to participate by telling me what the next command would be. As we continue I would point out that the "robot" cannot make any decisions on its own. When the grid is completed we would all look at the amount of writing I had done. I would then talk to the class about using a simpler way of writing it all down. I would tell them that we were going to use a "code". I would liken it to the "code" we are leaning about in Math. E.g. This symbol + written out in words means addition. This sign = means equal to.
I would ask the class to open their grid book and draw up their own 4x4 square. Beside that they need to write the code for the activity we just did together on the board. This time they would have to use symbols instead of words. What symbol could we use for 'move right one square'? Maybe and arrow pointing right.
Once they have the hang of that I would hand out a square that is already coloured in. They will glue it in their books and write the code beside it. This is the Graph Paper Programming Unplugged Activity.
In my next lesson with the students we would begin by gluing in the words 'algorithm' and 'program' and I would give them the definition for each. I would then discuss with them the importance of working out the sequence of steps we take each day to complete a task. I would write out simple steps for a task we are all very familiar with in our classroom routine. We would discuss the order of the events and the importance of having the steps follow order.
Then I would complete the Unplugged Paper Planes activity.
I am pretty sure that one of my students will just cut out the different steps on the paper and then glue them in his book without recognising that there are some pieces that should not be included in the program. if he does do what I predict he will do, I will use his example to make my own plane while he watches me follow his instructions. Then we will again discuss the importance of each step being accurate and in order.