Put coding, playing a game and Doctor Who together into one package and you are bound to be on to a winner. We love this free resource from the BBC.
Computer science is a subject which my children enjoy hugely. One of their other favourite things in life is Doctor Who so imagine their delight when we discovered the ‘Doctor and the Dalek’ game. The game itself is great fun and my eldest has played it many times. Today I decided to broaden their coding horizons by using prompts from the free teachers pack which accompanies the game.
The teachers’ pack can be downloaded here:
We discussed what computer science is and what algorithms are. They watched two clips from BBC Bitesize to further explain these points. The clips are short, to the point and fun. My 5 year old wanted to watch them again and again – fine with me. See the clips we watched here:
They played the game and completed the challenges on each level. The challenges expose children to coding. They can devise basic algorithms and learn about Input-process-Output. It is apparently amazingly good fun too. The game can be found here:
After playing the game we printed off one of the worksheets and they invented some more commands. Once they had done this they used their commands to change the appearance of a dalek (hastily drawn by yours truly). They enjoyed this activity and it was good for me to see that my youngest had absorbed the information from the game and the discussion. The worksheets can be found here:
My 10 year old used the KS3 resources to extend his learning. He concentrated on the corner stones of computational thinking and decided to draw a poster explaining what they are all about.
Finally my youngest wanted to make his dalek stand up so his computer science session evolved into a design technology lesson. He figured out how to make a cardboard stand by himself only requesting help to find the end of the tape.
We will use more of these resources over the coming weeks and highly recommend them. I really like the way that I can differentiate the work for my children after they have both had a great time playing the game.