Learning Robotics - Exploring Types of Coding

Learning Robotics - Exploring Types of Coding

Lesson 2 of 6 in this unit

  • Cool+
  • Primary
  • Year 5 - 6
  • English
  • Mathematics
  • Technology
  • Design and Technologies
  • Economic
  • Design Thinking
  • Systems Thinking
  • Technology
  • ...

Lesson summary

This is a STEAM lesson, which adds the Arts to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). In this lesson, students explore the different coding methods that can be used to instruct a robot. They explore associated Apps and apply block coding, drawing and other available methods to create an array of movements. They then apply their learning to guide their robot to complete a range of challenges.

Learning intentions:

Students will...

  • understand the various programming and coding methods they can use to instruct a robot
  • understand how contexts can be created to develop fun and engaging robotics activities for themselves and their peers.

Success criteria:

Students can...

  • use drawing, block coding and free play controls to command a robot
  • explain the different processes they use to control their robot
  • problem solve to determine distance, angles, speeds and movements required for their robot to successfully navigate prescribed contexts.
  • use their robot in a range of collaborative contexts.

Lesson guides and printables

Lesson Plan
Student Worksheet
Teacher Content Info

Lesson details

Curriculum mapping

We encourage you to teach Learning Robotics both through and in-between disciplines (transdisciplinary).

The knowledge and skill developed through robotics requires the expertise of academic disciplines to be made sense of and explained in full. The best evidence from a wide range of disciplines presents the current best answers to our big questions.

Syllabus outcomes: MA3‑1WM, MA3‑2WM, MA3‑3WM, MA3‑5NA, MA3‑6NA, MA3‑8NA, MA3-9MG, MA3-10MG, MA3-11MG, MA3-12MG, MA3-16MG, MA3-17MGEN3-1A, EN3-8D

General capabilities: LiteracyNumeracyDigital LiteracyCritical and Creative ThinkingPersonal and Social Capability.

Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability.

Relevant parts of Year 5 and 6 Digital Technologies Achievement Standards: Students explain how the features of technologies influence design decisions and how digital systems are connected to form networks. Students describe a range of needs, opportunities or problems and define them in terms of functional requirements. They collect and validate data from a range of sources to assist in making judgements. Students generate and record design ideas for specified audiences using appropriate technical terms, and graphical and non-graphical representation techniques including algorithms. They plan, design, test, modify and create digital solutions that meet intended purposes including user interfaces and a visual program.

Relevant parts of Year 5 Mathematics Achievement Standards: Students solve simple problems involving the four operations using a range of strategies. They check the reasonableness of answers using estimation and rounding. Students identify and describe factors and multiples. They identify and explain strategies for finding unknown quantities in number sentences involving the four operations. Students continue patterns by adding and subtracting fractions and decimals. They use appropriate units of measurement for length, area, volume, capacity and mass, and calculate perimeter and area of rectangles. Students use a grid reference system to locate landmarks. They measure and construct different angles.

Relevant parts of Year 6 Mathematics Achievement Standards: Students solve problems involving all four operations with whole numbers. They solve problems involving the addition and subtraction of related fractions. Students connect decimal representations to the metric system and choose appropriate units of measurement to perform a calculation. They solve problems involving length and area. Students describe combinations of transformations. They solve problems using the properties of angles.

Relevant parts of Year 5 English Achievement Standards: Students listen and ask questions to clarify content. They develop and explain a point of view about a text, selecting information, ideas and images from a range of resources. They make presentations which include multimodal elements for defined purposes. They contribute actively to class and group discussions, taking into account other perspectives.

Relevant parts of Year 6 English Achievement Standards: Students compare and analyse information in different and complex texts, explaining literal and implied meaning. They select and use evidence from a text to explain their response to it. They listen to discussions, clarifying content and challenging others’ ideas. They show how specific details can be used to support a point of view. Students create detailed texts elaborating on key ideas for a range of purposes and audiences. They make presentations and contribute actively to class and group discussions, using a variety of strategies for effect.

Time required: 120 mins

Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – The level of support required will vary based on students’ prior experience with robotics, programming and coding.

Resources required

  • device capable of displaying video to the class
  • device capable of running Sphero Edu App, e.g. iPad, iPod Touch (or required software for your robot), one for each robot
  • maze tape (or masking tape if a similar item is not included in your robot pack)
  • Robot Tasks worksheet
  • Sphero SPRK+ (or alternative programmable robot), minimum one per 3 students
  • Student Worksheet (one per student)
  • two trays: one filled with water, one filled with sand. Plastic cups (minimum 4). Target Sheet (one per student)
  • variety of reusable construction materials and additional equipment to create contexts/challenges for robots (e.g. Duplo, blocks, rulers, tennis balls, small hoops, etc.).


  • collaboration
  • communication
  • community engagement
  • creativity
  • critical thinking
  • digital literacy
  • enterprise
  • problem solving
  • social skills.

Additional info

This is an original Cool+ lesson.

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