I really think that Simon Says is a great way to introduce the concept of events to younger students. For older students, you could use a more complex game like Night At The Museum, or even the H.O.R.S.E. basketball game.
How would you explain the concept of events to your students?
I would explain that an event is an action that causes something to happen. I would give multiple examples and ask students to come up with their own.
When introducing the concept of “Events” to my first grade students, I relate it to something that happens automatically. It is a reaction that must happen right away. I like to brainstorm a list of things in our lives that happen automatically. Some ideas are: when the phone rings, someone must answer it. When the bell rings, we must stop our recess games. When the page is finished reading, the bell dings to turn the page. Some times we have interactive events such as teacher/student call backs - “One, two, three, eyes on me…” “One, two, eyes on you!” On the computer we see events when we click the mouse on a book to read or to open an app.
I like the idea of talking about their daily activities as events and the resulting action. The read aloud idea of When You Give a Mouse a Cookie will certainly resonate with the primary grades.
I would turn the script around a little bit on the kids. I would ask the kids to find things in their days that cause them to do something. For instance, their phone has sound notification for text messages, phone calls, and other app notifications. I would suggest that they are under the control of the world they wish to live in and all different types of things that happen on a daily basis are controlling their events to take place. The phone is one example. The clock and key times in the day like lunch time, pack-up and dismissal time, or when the teacher does something that caused the class to take action like pick up a ball or turn out the lights. The kids are actually the program that is following the events programmed throughout the day.
In the younger years I would definitely use the read aloud method. The remote method would be great for a PE lesson. We could also make a Maths game using an equal sign if doing factors we could place a number on the board and the children that know the answer raise their equal sign and give an answer.
I often use 3 or 4 learners. One learner is the instigator, the others have an action (out finger on nose/cover eyes/sit down etc…) to do but only if the instigator points to them. If the instigator points to some one else, nothing will happen as that person does not have an action.
Think it would be fun to go through a series of sounds and ask kids what they would do when they hear that sound. Maybe a fire alarm, or the chimes for switching centers or the harmonics for getting the kids to stop, look and listen to the teacher.
I teach a multi-age classroom of 4/5/6 graders who all had some experience with code.org last year. This is our second year using code.org district wide, so students have not all done the same lessons even if they were with me last year. It is important for me to remind students to let those who have not learned the skills yet to get a chance to answer questions and figure things out on their own.
I like the idea of using games to introduce events. I will have all of my students play some of the same game so that we all have a common experience while also let the gamers’ share their expertise. I think having a common game experience will help students make a connection with the concept of events more concrete.