I, along with another IT enthusiast and four DofE students have just started a CodeClub at our local library. The experience has been really interesting.
It was interesting to see what children aged around 8, who were interested in coding, would do if they were given time to just play around using Scratch. They had a whale of a time making up stories and silly images. Admittedly their coding was almost non-existent, but that is something that us leaders could deal with over time, but they loved what they were doing.
It gave me an idea for a lesson style for that age group. This lesson idea will be repeated over many contiguous lessons, each time building upon the last.
Assuming that kids just want to have fun, start by introducing one of the x4 Principles of Coding, eg ‘Variables’, then give them some example code to copy that uses the principle, eg. code that counts down from x10 each time a key is pressed. Then give them the challenge to create a story using the princple, but also add that they must include in their story specific words; silly words that will make them smile, like ‘underpants’ and ‘sausages’.
We intend to run break-out groups each Saturday alongside the regular feature of Scratch-free-for-all. Looking forward to it!