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I would like to start volunteering with kids and young teengers in my community by introducing them to programming. I thought teaching them the basics of python would be a good start. I have some experience with teaching in general (but not with teaching kids about programming).

Are there any resources that could help me or at least inspire me to make a good curriculum that goes over many concepts with turtle?

Thank you!

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  • $\begingroup$ I'm surprised that this doesn't have an answer yet. I'll see what I can dig up. $\endgroup$ – Ben I. Aug 3 at 19:32
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I have found that Python is not the best tool for teaching elementary and middle school students an intro to programming. Turtle is nice, but you run out of things to do pretty quickly. If you move on from Turtle to console based coding, many students find it less engaging.

Scratch and similar visual languages are much more engaging for younger learners. You will be surprised how full featured they are. There is a lot of great algorithmic teaching that you can do with these.

If you really want a traditional text-based language, you might check out Greenfoot (for Java). But again, younger learners get lost in the symbols pretty quickly, so it would not be my first recommendation. Scratch can be much more intuitive for them.

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I concur with Bryan R that Turtle might not be a great choice for an in-depth introduction. A quick google search for "python turtle lesson plans" reveals that most plans are for one to three lessons, after which, you have pretty much exhausted what Turtle has to offer.

There are various paid resources for Python Turtle at teacherspayteachers.

If you are open to a slightly different, more graphical, version of Turtle (called "Tina"), there is a whole book of lesson plans available at nclab.

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If these kids are true beginners Python is a bit much. Try Scratch or Alice. If you really want a line-code language go for Small Basic. All of these have excellent resources available on their website. Thunkable and App Inventor can also be a good start if you want to try something different.

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