Making Faces: Playdough Programming

Have you ever tried to teach programming using playdough? Suitable for all ages, this activity will bring playful fun to your computing lessons. The activity requires pupils to work in pairs, with one pupil (the programmer) instructing the other (the human computer) to create a playdough model of an image based on verbal instructions alone. Sample images are provided, but these can be swapped with others that may be more suitable for cross curricular links.

The activity works well to highlight the importance of precision and logic in sequencing instructions. With minimal further prompting the discussions can be extended to incorporate more complex instructions and used to demonstrate concepts such as iteration and selection. Key computational thinking concepts such as algorithmic thinking and decomposition are covered here. 

Originally part of the Let's Doodle workshop pack, this activity has clear cross curricular links potentially to both art and design & technology.