Pilot - U5L04 - Representing Images


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I just taught this lesson to a group of 7th and 8th graders in an Advanced Technology course. The lesson is straight forward and went very smoothly. One change that I made to the lesson plan was showing the “Images, Pixels, and RGB” video from CSP after the warm up. The video helped to illustrate what a pixel is and how the system is used to draw much better than I could have explained. The students were engaged in the drawing activity, although many were just racing to get finished. I extended the activity by challenging those that finished to draw a personal logo using agrid of at least 25 x 25.


Glad to hear that things went well Matt. That’s a pretty good tip to show the video. Were you able to tie the activity back to the broader story of representation systems? Did it feel like it was in the right point in the sequence of topics?


I am in a high school in San Jose, CA and have a mix of 9-12 grade students in the 3 classes that I teach this. The class is comprised of students from the highest achieving at the school to the lowest.

In planning this lesson, the warm up is to show images and have a prompt that students respond to. I think that the prompt should be put on the slides so that I can just project the one thing and have the writing prompt show with the images.

I also think that the prompts could be reversed. Yes, representing a photograph is more challenging than representing letters. Now, why is that.

Students came up with the ideas that there were:
Ton of detail
Many students just responded pixels, without really knowing what that meant. They knew they should say pixels in connection with a photograph.

Before showing the next slide I added a bit of a discussion with the prompt:

What would you do if I assigned you to remake this image using only two cards(referring to the animal cards from lesson 2)
What would we do if we had to, as a class, recreate the image on a huge canvas?

One girl said she would cry, which everyone thought was pretty funny.
This was a cool discussion because many of the students had taken an art class where they took a photograph, broke it into a grid, and had each student be responsible for one of the grids of the image.
And it lead to a discussion of divide and conquer which was nice.

Then we showed the next slide with the B&W images that get less detailed.
We all agreed that it was actually achievable to make some images like the bottom ones because they had little detail and were only either black or white squares.

This brought us to the activity.
The students cruised through this very quickly.

One note about the tool is that the instructions are on a pop up and its not really clear as to how to get those instructions back on the screen at first. (You have to click on the sentence below the image grid) So, many students, at first, did not know what they were supposed to do because they did not read the instructions in the pop up.

The activity went really quickly and the whole lesson did not take 1 hour.
This lesson seems a bit strange but I think it leads nicely into well, how can we add color to our pixels, which starts to be presented in the next few lessons of writing numbers with a binary system


Good catch on the instructions confusion in the pixelation widget - we’ve moved away from those instructions popups in most other tools, so it’s definitely worth calling out for students here.

Could you tell me more about how the lesson felt strange? Are the goals unclear? Does it not feel like it fits after the previous lesson?