20+ ways to celebrate the Hour of Code in ANY class

Ed Tech

Ed Tech | Monday, December 2, 2019

20+ ways to celebrate the Hour of Code in ANY class

20+ ways to celebrate the Hour of Code in ANY class (3) (1)

Computer Science Education Week and the Hour of Code aim to get people all over the world interested in computer science and will be officially celebrated during the week of December 6-12th. Are you and your students ready? Here are 20 ways to celebrate the Hour of Code in any class.

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This post is written by Karly Moura, a former technology TOSA teacher and Computer Science teacher in California. Karly currently works full time as the Social Media and Blog Editor at Ditch That Textbook. You can connect with Karly on Twitter/X @KarlyMoura

You don’t have to be an expert programmer yourself to get your students started coding in the classroom and the Hour of Code during Computer Science Education Week is a great place to start. With the incredible amount of resources available to educators, you can learn to program along WITH your students.

The Hour of Code is celebrated in the beginning of December with over 180 countries participating around the world. You can get your students in on the action no matter what grade level or subject area you teach.

Below you will find 20 ways to get your class coding before, during, or even after the Hour of Code.

Hour of Code Activities

Only have 60 minutes to host your Hour of Code? Or maybe you want to try a short tutorial out with your students before jumping in further. These activities will take approximately an hour for your students to complete. Many are available in multiple languages and teacher's notes are often provided. In addition to the ones I have highlighted below, you can find many, many more on the Hour of Code website

Hour of Code activities Grades K-2

1. Kodable: Make Shapes with Code - ANY age, pre-reader+ can experience programming with Kodable. In this activity students will use their math and coding skills to make their own maze and then try to solve it. Check out the teacher notes here.

2. Code Spark Academy with the Foos - A favorite of the K-2 crowd, Code Spark is an easy and fun way to get our youngest students coding. Note: To access the Hour of Code activities click on the white "Schools" icon in the upper left corner when the game loads. Then click "Students" and finally "Hour of Code". Once there students can scroll down and find the puzzles activity.

Hour of Code activities for Grades 2-5

3. Dance Party AI - The popular Dance Party HOC activity is back! This time students will learn about Artificial Intelligence to code their own dance party! Check out the teacher notes here.

4. Hello World - In this activity students will learn the basics of computer science by creating and animating their sprites in Sprite Lab. Check out the teacher notes here.

5. Poem Art- In this activity students will combine art and coding as they illustrate the mood of a poem with art. Check out the teacher notes here.

Hour of Code activities for grades 6+

6. Code Combat: Goblins and Glory - Students will take control of the game through programming in JavaScript or Python. They will use code to rescue the town then use AI strategies to assemble a party for a final goblin boss battle! Check out the teachers notes here.

7. Hello world: Say hello to Python coding - Create an interactive project with that prints text and emoji with Python. Check out the teacher notes here.

8. Balancing Act - Create an interactive game where players balance an object by moving their face on camera! Check out the teacher notes here.

Hour of Code choice boards

9. Choice board - A choice board is a great option if you have a lot of classes participating in the Hour of Code or if you want to give your students the option of choosing their activity. Feel free to adapt this HOC choice board for K-5 or this HOC choice board for 6+ to meet the needs of your students.

Computer Science Education Week Tutorials and lessons

If you have more than an hour to devote to Computer Science education week or want your students to have the opportunity to go beyond the Hour of Code then these resources are the perfect addition.

10. My Google Logo - In this self guided lesson tutorial from CS First students in grades 2 and up will use their creativity and imagination to bring the Google logo to life with code.

11. NASA's Space Jam - Students in grades 4 and up can explore computer science concepts by creating and animating solar systems, and using them to make music. Download the educator guide here.

12. Space Jam Explore Board - This explore board was created to accompany NASA's Space Jam Hour of Code resources. Students can learn more about sonification and explore more space themed coding lessons.

13. Discover AI in Daily Life - In this self guided Applied Digital Skills lesson, students will learn what artificial intelligence is, how people use it every day. 

14. Creativity with AI Explore Board - This year the Hour of Code website is offering coding opportunities that encompass  artificial intelligence (AI) components to help students and educators wrap their brains around AI. With this explore board students can learn more about AI and try out some AI focused coding activities. 

15. Hour of Code HyperDocs

  • Hour of Code HyperDoc for K-2- This mini-unit can be done as a whole class or students can complete the activities in pairs or individually depending on their age and/or coding experience. This  HyperDoc is meant to be assigned as "view only", students will use the links provided to complete activities.
  • Hour of Code HyperDoc for 3+ -This version of the Introduction to Coding and Hour of Code  HyperDoc is more interactive and self-paced for older students. Students will learn about the basics of computer programming and block coding languages prior to trying out an hour of code activity.
  • Bonus HyperDoc! Check out this "What is Code" HyperDoc from Nadine Gilkison!

16. How Computers Work Unit of Study - How Computers Work Unit of Study - Computer science is about more than just coding. In this mini unit, geared toward grades 5-8, students will explore what makes a computer a computer, binary, circuits, logic and more. 

Unplugged Computer Science Lessons

It may surprise you and your students to know that you don't need a computer to celebrate the Hour of Code! There are tons of activities available for students of all ages.

Celebrating the Hour of Code with Hello Ruby computers

Kindergarteners make their own paper computers. An activity from Hello Ruby

16. Hello RubyThe Hello Ruby picture book series is one of the most brilliant ways to teach programming to young learners. Each book contains a beautiful story that introduces readers the fundamentals of computer science along with an activity book for young programmers. Check out helloruby.com for free lesson plans and links for ordering the books.

17. Kodable Unplugged - Kodable's Unplugged Coding Activities offer 20+ projects that teach real coding concepts and encourages children to think like a coder, without the need for tech devices.

18. Dance party unplugged - The same awesome dance party activity that was mentioned above can be done without a computer! Students can learn coding concepts to choreograph a dance party together using events to respond to a user using a controller.

19. My robotic friendsIn this fun, unplugged activity students will figure out how to guide each other to accomplish specific tasks without discussing them first. This activity teaches students the basics of coding as well as the extremely valuable skill of debugging.

20. CS First UnpluggedCS First Unplugged is a program that offers offline activities to introduce computer science concepts, emphasizing how technology keeps us connected. Students can complete a set of unplugged activities, such as "Network a Neighborhood" and "Encode an Emoji," to learn about computer science and its everyday applications.

BONUS Hour of Code and Computer Science Education Week resources!

Check out this Wakelet collection that includes  links from this post along with even more coding resources. This collection can be shared directly through Facebook orTwitter and you can even make a copy to edit and add your own resources!

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