Teaching events


How do you teach the core computer concept of events to your students?

Share your best practices, hacks, tips and tricks here. Also feel free to share here your questions, half-baked ideas, spectacular failures and concerns about teaching loops.

In your post, be sure to tell us what grade you teach and any other relevant information about your classroom context that will help other understand how they might implement your idea.


I use a popular video game when introducing events to my students. I often ask my class for examples of video games that they love to play. We list on the board all the different things that happen in the game. How do you score points, how do you lose points, how do you lose/gain lives, how does the game end, etc. After listing all of the different occurrences I finally introduce the word events. I explain that each one of the things listed on the board is an event. We then discuss each event they listed individually and explain how and why it is an event.


Events are triggered by an action that the code responds to, most common;y a tap on the screen or click on the mouse at a particular point on the visual workspace or input device. Using the video game example in the way @lavin outlines in her post sounds fantastic because it doesn’t limit the introductory discussion to one program or action that can limit versatility and student interest. This can occur when instructors try to explain concepts without inviting students prior knowledge in the sake of time or lack of space or resources.


I would introduce events in two kinds of environments. With younger children, I might introduce it by doing a read-aloud of a book such as “If you give a mouse a cookie” that is full of triggers or events. I would then have a class discussion or the students respond to questions to really highlight all the events in this story and the resultant action. I would then have students make connections to real life and video games or other examples of events when using interacting with computers (e.g. clicking a mouse, directional arrows, scrolling, tapping, etc.). I would also have them imagine how their favorite video games would be very different without events.


I love the read aloud idea!


I think that Simon Says is an event trigger! May be good for young kids. I too like the read aloud idea.


I agree with everyone who speaks about video games or even games that are apps. Minecraft comes to mind when I think of a game most kids have a working understanding of. They often can go into a lot of details when you ask them about how the game works. Once you begin making those connections for students, they will not only understand it better, they will be excited to give it a try!


For my middle schoolers, I really like the idea of using video games as @lavin outlined. Fabulous idea!


Much like someone has mentioned here…I would use video games to teach events. Minecraft to be more specific.

Using the events that happen during the night compared to the day. At night monsters come out, during the day they burn up in the sunlight.

When you place fire too close to a wood structure, they will catch on fire.

When you click on a door, the door opens.

These are just a few examples.


Events are actions that causes something to happen. I would use video games to teach events; especially since students are so familiar with video games.


With kindergarten, first, and second grade students we discuss situations in their own lives where events (or triggers) cause them or people they know) to do something. The phone rings, so they answer it. The playground bell rings, so they line up. They are sick, so they stay home from school.
Then we talk about things they do on their iPads that cause certain actions to take place. Taps, and scrolls, and pinches all cause something to happen. How do they happen? Someone wrote a program that we can’t see, to make those events trigger something.


I agree that using video games is a great way cover the concepts of events with students.


I like the video shown for code.org. It makes an instant connection in the minds of the students. It’s something they seem to grasp quickly, especially the video game players, and they can’t wait to jump into Flappy Bird on code.


i think Events are everywhere and there are so many things that we can do with them:
my idea is basically creating my own game where the students are the players :wink: . when Student A does this Student B does that …etc . kind like Simon says .


I think events are best taught in conjunction with cause/effect comprehension skills in reading.


I’m wondering how I can use events in video games to make a connection with different literacy mnemonics.


Last year, I used point and click scumm games like Maniac Mansion, Curse of Monkey Island or Full Throttle (my favorite…jejeje), my students really enjoyed the stories and after the games they had to write and explain the events that they enjoyed through the game.
I tried to teach events with a song cause I also love music but it didn’t have the same effect.
Also we played with the virtual game control, students assigned events to each button, and the whole classroom had to act out the actions, it was really fun.


For primary students, the example of raising a hand to get the teacher to call upon you will work well. Another idea is the whistle in a gym, or clapping hands 3 times to get students to listen. All of these can be used to explain an event in coding.


I ask them how computer works, what happens when they click left mouse key and what happens when they click right.


I use the tiles on the hallway floor to teach beginning coding. Students have to listen to my commands and perform them. We draw squares and triangles with our bodies. In order to enter the classroom, they have to move forward in a line until they come to the door. When they enter the threshold, they become a coder and must report to their chair.