This highly interactive lesson that requires the pupils to work in teams and use computational thinking skills to solve a range of puzzles. This activity perfect for pupils about to learn Python programming and you want to show the importance of computational thinking skills.
Your class need to work together to escape a locked laboratory in a spaceship and start the engines to avoid being sucked into a black hole by completing different challenges which will use a variety of computational thinking skills.
They are given most of the lesson to work together and at the end of the lesson, time is dedicated to discuss the computational thinking skills they used during the activity. This gives them a practical application for the computational thinking theory rather than using the tired old “making a jam sandwich” or “getting up in the morning” scenarios which are commonly used.
This activity is not a handout driven escape room, it involves using an interactive PowerPoint presentation and physical tasks that moves away from pupils filling in yet another worksheet, to working together in a team to solve interesting and challenging puzzles.
Pupils enjoy the lesson and are fully engaged whilst developing the key computational thinking skills of decomposition, pattern recognition, abstraction and algorithms.
Please note: This lesson does require teachers to prepare some props beforehand and it is highly recommended the teacher reads through the teacher’s instructions and creates the props well before they want to use the lesson.
Written primarily for key stage 3, this activity can be used in a variety of situations:
- Introducing pupils to computational thinking skills before they are introduced to a text-based programming language
- Used as an end of term fun lesson which still has an education element
- A fun activity to use on a year 6 transition day
- Allow your new year 7s to get to know their new classmates and grow team sprit
- Helping a reluctant class see the benefits of learning programming skills
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KS3 Python Programming Complete SoW
**12 ready to use lessons, you can use immediately to teach pupils how to program in Python.** This bundle includes 12 lessons making a complete unit of work that teaches pupils how to program in Python and also includes two end of unit tests to assess their programming skills. The National Curriculum for England specifies that by the end of Key stage 3 pupils should have been taught to “use two or more programming languages, at least one of which is textual, to solve a variety of computational problems; make appropriate use of data structures (for example, lists, tables or arrays); design and develop modular programs that use procedures or functions (for example, sub programs).” ([National curriculum in England: computing programmes of study - key stages 3 and 4:](https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/national-curriculum-in-england-computing-programmes-of-study)) This complete unit of work teaches pupils how to programming in Python and takes them through the basics to using data structures and sub programs. Each lesson includes an attractive PowerPoint presentation and include videos to teach the key skills and loads of Python programming practice and questions. The teacher’s lesson plans include differentiated objectives and all the answers to the programming problems making this series of lessons ideal for specialist and non-specialist teachers. The recommended order of the lessons are as follows: Lesson 1 – Computational thinking escape room Lesson 2 – Input and output Lesson 3 – If statements Lesson 4 – More if statements Lesson 5 – Going loopy Lesson 6 – Text and numbers Lesson 7 – Random values Lesson 8 – Python turtle Lesson 9 – Creating robust programs Lesson 10 - Lists Lesson 11 – 2D lists Lesson 12 – Sub programs Python end of unit assessment (paper test) Python practical programming assessment [Find out what sort of computer science teacher you are with this FREE fun 10-minute quiz.](https://www.opinionstage.com/nicholawilkin/what-kind-of-computer-science-teacher-are-you)
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Used today with a year 9 group - they really loved it ..and so did I!!
Thank you, glad it was useful and everybody enjoyed it.
Excellent resource. I am planning to use this with my year 10s as an introductory lesson. Thank you!
Thank you. I'm sure they will enjoy it.
Very well put together. The whole class were engaged from start to finish (used with five Year 7 classes so far) and it was a nice way to recap the computational thinking topic that we had covered recently. Tip: If you can't share files via a network drive like me, make sure that the student file is downloaded and opened and not through Google Slides (which bypasses the password).
Thank you, I am so pleased your classes enjoyed it and found it useful, also thanks for the tip, I am sure other teachers will appreciate it. :)
This looks awesome. I can't wait to try it out!
Thank you, pleased it is useful.
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