Teaching conditionals


I would teach conditionals to my 3rd graders by putting a small obstacle on the floor and instructing them to walk forward with these instructions:

IF the obstacle is in front of them, jump over it
ELSE IF there’s room, keep walking
ELSE stop at the wall

I would add more obstacles and connect it to the concept of Looping that we learned in previous lessons.


There are several real-life examples of Conditionals. The first that comes to mind is the use of Umbrellas. We only use and bring them to school IF it is raining. Same applies to rain jackets.


Way back in the “Dark Ages” when I was presented FORTRAN and COBOL, the language was “if/then”…reprogramming my own brain to if/else, I understand the logic. I believe sharing the language with our students will bring awareness. For example, “If we have Gym, wear your gym uniform and sneakers; else, wear your school uniform.” Continued reinforcement will solidify the concept. The Loops will reveal patterns; I admittedly have some issue with writing the code with least steps possible. As with all learned concepts, practice, practice, practice…also, partner work with some friendly coding experts! :robot::dog:


Really like the idea of identifying conditionals that occur in their lives on a daily basis…am trying to think of one off the top of my head and am having trouble. Why is that? If you hear the whistle at recess, line up. Else keep playing.

Really liked the reminder Kiki had in the video: If then is what you do when it is true, else is when it isn’t true/false. That resonated.


Conditionals are not explicitly taught to students but are assumed, if you complete this assignment you will have free time tonight, else you will be expected to complete it on your time as homework…for example. I teach 4th and 5th grade and I find that for many of my students anything conditional seems “unfair”. This is a perfect lesson that ties to the real world expectations for pre-teens…I am adding this term to my first day of school vocabulary, explaining that the choices my students are making every day are “conditionals”.


I love the idea of teaching conditionals with card games. I think students in the upper elementary levels could separate into groups and create their own card games using conditionals. Then they could write instructions and other groups could play.


I think the conditionals with cards is a great unplugged activity. I can see using this with high school students may with extensions.


Students understand conditions because it is a concept they already know. Showing them is very informative. I love this program!


Teaching 5th graders Conditionals is fun. I usually begin by dividing into small groups and distributing card decks for each group. I demonstrate with whole group using color conditionals as shown in the videos. I then let the groups begin and play until one person has 10 points.
The next round will be a conditional the group makes up. I let them play to work out the bugs and then demonstrate to the class.


Conditionals should be thought of as a series of different outcomes that can occur contingent on what happens before…Example, if a bee hits a flower (what happens) then (outcome) it will gather nectar…If a bee hits honey come (What happens) then (outcome) it will make honey.


I might try to implement conditionals with my lunch duty :slight_smile: if you ordered choice 1 get in line, else wait.


When talking to teachers it’s easy to relate conditionals to cause and effect or also school/class reward systems. I really like the idea of the Conditionals with Cards game.


I haven’t taught conditionals yet! My older students have done a great job problem solving the puzzles with the conditionals. I think I would give them “if then” situations to work through with real life examples “if it is cold outside we wear a coat, if it is not cold. . .” etc.


I will use some of things in lives as exmples to explain concept of conditionals.
e.g. If you grasp this rope, I will pull you up.


At the senior high school we have a drink machine at the end of my hallway that offers a great way to introduce conditionals. Students insert money and make a selection, If it is in stock, they get it, else, they must either select another drink or have their money refunded.


I think teaching conditionals offers good opportunities to sneak in some learning about syntax if you introduce it right. Having students raise their hands and think of “If x, then y” statements gets the entire class involved, and makes sure the students know that conditionals rely on much on form as they do content. I feel like nested conditionals could be a tricky nut to crack, but lots of nested conditionals pop up in everyday life, and especially in games. With the older students, fouls in games offer a great chance to learn about nested conditionals. There are some circumstances when it’s okay to rush a quarterback in American football, or stand in the key in basketball.
Of course, however, it’s best to start simple, and I really enjoyed the basic
if ClassQuiet
then ExtraRecess

format used in the example. Small rewards and participation are wonderful ways to introduce topics.


I would bring up the idea of If/Else statements talking about what happens when students bring their books back to the library. They know that IF they bring their books back, they get to get more books; ELSE they don’t bring them back, they can’t get anymore. I can even bring an ELSE-IF statement: IF you bring your books back, you can get more. ELSE IF you bring back 1 book, you can get 1 new book. ELSE you don’t bring any books back, you don’t get more. After this, I would probably reference games they play, or things their parents might say. Then, I would open it up for students to try to come up with some statements. And I love the card game!


Flocabulary has a video for students explaining conditionals. I am also going to try the card game with my students and I also like the idea of using picture cards with the class to get them thinking about what might happen next.


I teach Transitional Kindergarten. I use Kodeable with my littles. I have always explained that the computer will have _____ happen unless we give it a condition. However, I like the idea of playing cards with them. I can’t wait to try this with them and my coding club after school on Fridays.


I really enjoyed the videos and can’t wait to work on conditionals with my classes. The concept of If and Else is much easier once you understand that the Than is part of both as what happens.

Looking forward to seeing what my students can add to the game!