I teach a middle school coding course. We have done a very basic python introduction. For their first project, they wrote and coded their own MadLibs. For the upcoming project, they are going to choose from a list of projects using variables, numbers, and operators (mostly basic calculators, tip calculator, etc.).

The issue comes in that I have one student who has a concussion and limited screen time making it impossible for them to complete this project by the end of the quarter. Does anyone have any ideas for an unplugged project that would parallel what the others are working on?

UPDATE: I ended up doubling the work for the project (create two projects instead of one) and letting the students work in partners. That way she could assist in the actual coding and work on paper for everything else instead of having to be solely responsible for the computer code. I believe the student is also going to save some of their limited screen time for my class to help get the project done. Thanks everyone!

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    $\begingroup$ I remember a time when we used to work mostly on paper because of limited availability of terminals and/or keypunch machines. Your student need not sit in front of the screen while designing the program. Could do much of the work on paper, before sitting down to type it in. $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 2, 2022 at 21:39
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    $\begingroup$ Lots of upvotes, but five days in and no ideas yet. This is a really tricky problem! I'm still trying to come up with something. $\endgroup$
    – Ben I.
    Commented Dec 7, 2022 at 13:58
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    $\begingroup$ If it has to be programming (question is not clear on this), then don't write a computer program, write a program for a human. $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 5, 2023 at 9:19

1 Answer 1


Well, if i may, i'll start with sort of a background.

Where i am from, computer science students to take the AP equivalent course in their high school year, are asked to write code on a paper, they do not get to check it on VS or whatever software they use.

Now, what does that have to do with anything?

Your student should not be in front of a screen to work on his project. He can write code on pen and paper, and during his screen time, add what he worked on. Not only do i find it nice, as it may be a great memory, to come back in a few years and see his first coding project, and all the syntax fixing, designing, calculations etc he worked on (I keep of all my projects and when feeling nostalgic i love coming back to it), but it could very much help him, as being able to spot mistakes in your work in this case, will benefit him more than any project he would do. He would be able to make benefits from everything, and improve.

Now, regarding the project idea, it would be wonderfull if you could edit the question and give a brief overview of the syllabus, and i can give an idea that suits it, but for now:

Game dev

(1) Snake

(2) Ping Pong against a wall


(4) Hangman

General ideas

(1) Password generator

(2) Basic encrypt/ decrypt software

(3) chess clock

(5) typer test

Hope it helped.


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