A lot of teachers use the peanut butter and jelly sandwich activity at my school already so I plan on doing something a little different. I will have my students teach me how to “Whip”. It is a very simple dance move that is popular now and most kids know how to do it. For those that do not they will be allowed to reference a video of the dance move when creating instructions. I did this in the past with “Teach Me How to Dougie” and the kids at my school really enjoyed it.
I have used this exercise in my online discussion boards, where students pick their own task, and as a reply, they are to follow another’s directions to see if it works, and explain the results.
Begin by drawing an item on paper and then teaching the students how to recreate it in 3D
There are so many great ideals on the forum. I especially liked the Smores ideal. I think I will probably begin with that one and I know that my students would enjoy the treats; next assignment …I would have my class document the steps on walking from the classroom to the cafeteria. I think that would be practical and beneficial to my class, as well.
I plan to have my students write directions for creating a paper airplane. Then they have to allow a peer to create the airplane using only the written directions. If it didn’t go as plan, which it usually doesn’t, they are allowed to modify their directions. Then they have to give their directions to another classmate and allow them to create using only their written directions. Depending on the students engagement we may do another round or connect the activity back to computer science.
I love this idea! It incorporates technology into the lesson as well.
I really enjoyed the PBJ activity in the PD this summer. Maybe you could find out ahead of time if there are any peanut allergies.
I used to do a similar lesson in Geometry when I was teaching proofs. I would have the students make each others, and it was great fun but also very messy and a big hassle. They also didn’t always get the actual point because they got too sidetracked with making a sandwich. I really like the idea of map directions. And maybe if you have access to a simple robot bringing it in and giving it their directions and seeing what happens. Or there are probably games that are similar that you could do that for.
Paper airplanes and how to tie your shoe
I like to do this using paper airplanes and shoe tying.
I do have a student who has peanut allergies, so the peanut butter & jelly sandwich algorithm would not be possible in my class. However, I have several male students who like to play basketball, football and/or soccer. Using common slang and vernacular from each respective sport, it would be interesting see the “experts” of a sport create an algorithm on how to complete simple moves related to the sport. For example, a basketball player could create an algorithm explaining how to dribble the ball from half court, to the basket and shoot a right handed layup. For those not interested in sports, the same could be done regarding the application of make-up, playing an instrument or dancing.
A basic lesson in how to get from one point in the school to another or in the classroom for that matter. A how to listing ending with a prize if the directions are all followed correctly on the paper. Just a few ideas.
I would give my students names of places and they would have to look the information up on maps.
I think for this lesson I will have the students write the instructions for creating a model of DNA. There is also a something called “wow” butter that looks and tastes like peanut butter but does not contain peanuts.
I have the students give directions to a place in the school, then have them switch places and see if their partner can follow them. It gets the kids up and moving and they like to get competitive to see who can get the farthest.
I have used a few similar lessons to this in my classes before. One of my favorites involves “How to Put on a Shirt”. I have a button up shirt on a hanger and the students have to write a set of instructions for me to put the shirt on. for one year, I had the students work in groups and each group got a shirt on a hanger to “practice”. Inevitably, this is a crazy-fun lesson with spectacular failures.
I will use the resources provided by Code.org to provide me with alternative activities if something like allergies become an issue with peanut butter exercise.
There are many different concepts that you could use for this lesson. For example, writing instructions for tying your shoes. You could even tie it to another course, such as writing the steps for solving an equation, or for an experiment in science.
We had a very similar activity for the Foundations of Technology class that I’ve been teaching for the past several years, and the students loved it. My school now has a policy that peanut butter cannot be used in any school activities, so I will have to find a substitute or else can the idea all together. I’ve found a soy-based substitute but it is very expensive. I’ll have to see if we can afford it.
Hey @david_mizrahi - I’ve heard from other teachers who have a similar issue that they substitute this activity for something that does not involve peanut butter. One I have heard a couple times is making a paper airplane. Feel free to get creative and find something that works for you!