Teaching conditionals


Games are a great tool to use conditionals. I like to use dice as well as cards, and if you can throw in some math concepts even better.


I think the unplugged activity will be pretty successful when working mid-level students. I like the idea of pictures for younger students. I like to use more abstract ideas when working with my middle schoolers.


Teaching conditionals seem to be an easy idea to teach to children due to behavioral activities at home throughout their lives. Many will understand if they do one thing…good- helping baby brother, or bad- hitting baby brother will bring abut a conditional- reaction from parent based on if. I would love to see children get the opportunity to identify conditional they face in their life, example raining means inside the recess. Loud at lunch means assigned seats or silent lunch. Do your homework means positive reaction from the teacher. I would also apply conditionals to stories and choices that characters make and how that affects the outcome of the story.


Conditional is somthing that you face everyday, so that I am thingking on use their every day activity like the school schedule, or use some lego Picess or username and password to login the school system, there are so many options that even you can play a game…


I was trying to think about how to introduce this concept to my first grade students and I really like the idea of using the related picture cards to help teach them. Many of my students are non-readers and language learners so I think the visuals would make the concept more accessible to them.


This was a harder concept for me to get my head around. So I’m assuming if I found it hard, my students will also. I am going to introduce it with the Unplugged activities to begin with. Then we will get a bit more physical.

In my classroom I have a large piece of shade cloth which has squares on it in a 10 by 5 rectangular shape. I also have coloured paper the size of each square that can be put down onto the cloth. With the class sitting around the cloth I will mark out a ‘path’ across the cloth by putting down the coloured card to block the way. One of the students will be the ‘robot’ or ‘zombie’. Another students will give the directions to move the student across the mat.

Then I will introduce ‘conditionals’ to the class. IF you can turn left, turn left. If you can’t go straight ahead. As a student moves one square at a time across the cloth we will all ask, “Can you turn left?” The student will say “No.” They the class will say, “Go straight ahead.” If the student gets to a square where they can turn left the class will say “turn left and then go straight ahead.”

We would repeat the same activity but this time turn right.


I like your idea of the use of the cloth for all of the lessons.

I also think the cards are the best way to teach it…and it can really get the students excited. I also feel like you can do it with questions about students and have the class move to different sides of the classroom. “if you have a sister, move to the right,else move to the left…”


The idea of True/False is confusing for the 1st and 2nd graders. However, I will definitely use more of the weather condition games and the card game. Thank you for the idea of a simple Simon idea using shirt colors and steps forward.
When I have used the if/do blocks in the Classic Maze (3rd grade) they need reminders on how conditionals work. Perhaps more focus on the if / do for a period of time is required, and then take a break. Later on, I will spend time on if/do with the else-concept.


Thank you for mentioning Minecraft and academic connections with coding! To computer club members I could say, “The recipes are functions in your Minecraft memory banks”.



Don’t get me started! I could go on for hours and do most times about how easily Minecraft is adapted to so many different learning targets and concepts! I love Minecraft!

Algorithms through the process of creating a pickaxe, teaching others to create tools validates the algorithm!

Decomposition, Abstraction and Pattern Matching by looking at various animals, trees, or crops…

Events through the crafting process…

Looping through the process of strip mining…

Oh it just goes on and on and on… :slight_smile:


I would have them do daily tasks with different scenarios. They would have to make an “if” option to see if they can complete the daily task. This would further strengthen the importance of clear directions.


Since I would be introducing this concept to primary school kids, I would need to relate it to simple home tasks and awards, as well as some of their early Science lessons/experiments. I might even conduct the experiment with the kids before teaching the “conditional”.


I would pair this lesson with a lesson about ‘if…then…’ statements in writting.


It would be interesting to tech tie lessons about conditionals to language arts lessons about cause and effect. (I teach tech now, but taught general ed not that long ago, in elementary school.)


I might use the idea of qualifications for students to participate in our related arts area Club RA.
If (no Time Out, Minor Incident Report or Office Referral within a 3-week period)
then Participation in Club RA
else No Club RA and Participate in the reflection room instead


Students can come up with multiple situations with conditionals. If I eat all my dinner I can have desert, If we get 5 stickers we get lunch bunch. I like the concept of teaching conditionals by linking them to real life situations the children can relate to. Also remind them this is a type of cause and effect.


As I watched the video, it made me think of teaching cause and effect in reading. If ( ) then ( ). Haven’t tried it yet, but this is one way I think teaching conditionals could also be connected to curriculum.


Honestly, I liked Bill Gates’ explanation of the “if it is raining then I get a raincoat.” Teaching younger ones the if/then concept is a key component in learning.


I love the lesson with the cards and the game to explain but I would also remind the kids what I’ve done in the past with them in the computer lab. If (class stays on task with their computer assignment for 50 minutes) then they get 10 minutes of free time to play educational games, Else (no computer games and they have to work until clean-up time).


Now that I am thinking about bees, let’s try this!

If (I step on to a yard full of bees)

barefoot - I will get stung
with sandels - I might get stung
with shoes - I will not get stung