Lesson Plan - How To Use Coding To Improve Your Students'  Reading, Thinking, and Learning Skills

Project Purpose

Learn Jelly projects are designed for educators who serve elementary students. The learning goals of our projects are the following.

  • Improve Learning Skills - Stories allow students to feel and see the information, as well as factually understand it. As a result, the information is more likely to be imprinted on the brain in such a way that it sticks with the individual longer, with very little effort exerted on their part (Neuhauser, 1993, p.4).

  • Improve Reading Comprehension - Visualizing refers to our ability to create pictures in our heads based on text we read or words we hear. It is one of many skills that makes reading comprehension possible. This method is an ideal strategy to teach to young students who are beginning or struggling readers.

  • Increase Computer Science (CS) Exposure - The most important part of the computer science experience is its ability to encourage and support creative expression and problem-solving. As Seymour Papert said more than 30 years ago, CS is about giving kids the opportunity to engage with powerful ideas.

  • Improve Critical Thinking Skills - Teaching coding helps young students learn important creativity, conceptualization, application, analysis, and evaluation skills which will position them well for success as they move through school and life.

During the projects, learning goals are accomplished by guiding students through a learning experience that requires them to read stories based on academic concepts and then transform them into animations through drawing and coding.

Project Themes

Content Comprehension, Reading, Art, Critical Thinking, Coding Practice, and Programming.

Project Practices

Visualization, Retelling, Creativity, Independent and Collaborative Working, Problem-Solving, Critical Thinking, Presentation and Communication, Persistence, Comprehension, Integration of Knowledge and Ideas, Computing Practice, and Programming.

Project Description And Implementation Slides

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City of Orlando Summer 2018 Project

Project Description and GOALS:

During the 1-month project, 3rd, 4th, and 5th-grade students read stories based on academic concepts and then transform them into animations through drawing and coding activities. 

The goals for the City of Orlando Summer Project where the following:

  • Align projects with concepts that are being taught by academic instructors located at the centers.
  • Improve reading and learning comprehension by teaching students visualization and retelling skills.
  • Improve students' thinking skills through computational thinking activities (coding).
  • Introduce students' to basic coding concepts through animation activities and programming tools.

Grade 3 Projects

  • Classroom Alignment - Retelling a story and identifying the characters, setting, problem, and solution.

  • Total Project Time - 8 Hours

Part I - Reading And Sketching:

Students read a story about a frog race and where required to visualize the 4 parts through an initial sketch. Additionally, students had to identify the setting, characters, problem, solution, and moral of the story.

Part II - Drawing:

Students use their sketches to create a final drawing of the story. The goal was for students to visualize all of the major story elements and to use their final drawing as a guide during the story animation phase.

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Part III - Animation

Students use the Scratch Jr. program to animate their final drawings. 

Grade 4 Projects

  • Classroom Alignment - Identify and describe various rock formations.

  • Total Project Time - 8 Hours

PART I - READING AND SKETCHING:

Students read and sketched the descriptions of three rock formation types (sedimentary, metamorphic, and igneous).

Part II - Drawing:

Students use their sketches to create a final drawing and diagram of the rock formation descriptions. The goal is for students to visualize all of the major themes of the rock formations.

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Part III - Animation

Students use the Scratch Jr. program to animate their final drawings.

Grade 5 Projects

  • Classroom Alignment - The Declaration of Independence

  • Total Project Time - 8 Hours

PART I - READING AND SKETCHING:

Students read and sketched a timeline that provided a snapshot of events and sentiments surrounding the formation of the Declaration of Independence.

Part II - Drawing:

Students use their sketches to create a final drawing of the timeline. The goal was for students to visualize the various stages identified in the timeline and to use their final drawing as a guide during the story animation phase.

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Part III - Animation

Students use the Scratch Jr. program to animate their final drawings.