Daisy the Dinosaur: Programming for (Lower) Primaries

Daisy Dinosaur IconWhat it is: an iPad app for introducing programming concepts.
Who it’s for: F-2 students (or older students with no programming background)
Australian Curriculum link:  “Follow, describe and represent a sequence of steps and decisions (algorithms) needed to solve simple problems.” (ACTDIP004)


 

This little (and free) introduction-to-programming app has lots going for it.
  • It’s aimed at absolute beginners.
  • You can play in free-play mode or challenge mode.
  • If students can read the words ‘move’, ‘turn’ or ‘grow’ they can program.

Getting started

  1. Download from the app store onto your iPad.
  2. Jump into Challenge Mode.
  3. Complete the first challenge; use the ‘move’ command to make Daisy move across the screen to hit the star.
  4. Well done! You’ve made your first program!

July 08, 2014 at 0621PM

Next steps

There are only a few challenges but they do introduce sequencing and the use of a ‘repeat’ command. July 08, 2014 at 0621PM(1) Back in free-play mode you have just seven (blue) commands to play with; limiting but not overwhelming.

  • Move: select forward or backward.
  • Turn
  • Grow
  • Shrink
  • Jump
  • Roll
  •  Spin

There are are also two pink commands:

  • Repeat 5
  • When

You can drag blue commands onto the pink ‘repeat 5’ command and it … repeats that command 5 times. Drag blue commands onto the pink ‘when’ command and they will only be executed when Daisy is tapped or the iPad is shaken. daisy3

And…

That’s about it. You can’t save, add sprites, backgrounds or anything else. But it is easy to get into for JP students and a little imagination will soon have Daisy gyrating across the grassy stage. Brilliant! Link Daisy the Dinosaur on the App Store Link Daisy the Dinosaur programming tutorial   iPad Apps: Daisy the Dino from LondonCLC on Vimeo.

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