I wanted to do a discussion on variables that would be easily relatable for students. I had the students write out a list of milestone ages in a person’s life. We then created a master list on the front board of ‘Age’ and why that age is a milestone.
We came up with a list of 8-10 distinct important ages, with their related milestones. From there we talked about how age was a variable, and how different values for that variable had an impact on what occurs in the game we call life.
I am yet to see if this sticks, or helps students who struggle with variables, but I will continue to refer back to this discussion as we move forward. One thing we noted was that this variable is not random, so we talked about how this is similar to things within games (time, levels, score), but also how other variable concepts might exist (location of enemies, direction of wind, lives left that may increase and decrease).
I’m looking for ideas on how to use this or similar ideas to create an unplugged activity for the next time I go through this unit. Variables are so critical, and while some students understand them quickly, other students will need support until it becomes second hand.