Year 3, Term 4: Coding

Focus: Coding

Scope and sequence: Coding

Learning intention: Students engage in coding to interact with virtual and tangible objects.

NSW Syllabus
Australian Curriculum (version 9.0)
"A student defines problems, describes and follows algorithms to develop solutions." (ST2-3DP-T)
"Students learn to implement simple algorithms as visual programs involving control structures and input." (AC9TDI4P04)

Week 1

Introduction to the topic

This video (1:49) from NASA is an engaging look into the importance of coding.

Introduction to block-based coding

Introduction to block-based code using micro:bit (

This video (2:09) is also a very good introduction to the BBC micro:bit.

Week 2

The following picture identifies some of the components and features of the Micro:bit.


Using buttons on the micro:bit

The following screenshot depicts an introductory activity using the two buttons on the micro:bit.  The code file is here (right click, 'Save link as...') but it is recommended that you write this instead to model the coding process. 

You will notice that if using a mouse you can't press Buttons A and B simultaneously in simulation mode.  This provides a good reason to load the code onto a micro:bit and then use the buttons on each device.  Additional instructions for how to get the code onto the micro:bit are on the site.

A logical next step for this lesson would be to ask the children to make their own version of this code where they have three different LED patterns.  They could even make their own logos.  If they can't think of anything you could suggest making a variation on the pattern listed above where they have diagonal lines for the 'A' and 'B' buttons.  'A' and 'B' together could then be programmed to make a multiplication symbol (x).

Week 3

Making a simple game

This game uses randomly generated coordinates to light up an LED each time Button B is pressed. The aim is to illuminate all of the 25 LEDs as quickly as possible but the last ones are the hardest to get because the randomly generated coordinates will often be illuminating an LED which is already lit so it might appear that nothing is happening for a while.

Pressing Button A will clear the screen and restart the game. If other students have this game loaded on their micro:bits they can race each other by commencing the game at the same time.



To make a potentially faster version of this game, modify the code so that each button will turn on an LED. The game will then allow you to use two thumbs or fingers instead of one. Also, modify the code so that the game is reset by pressing Buttons A and B at the same time. However, be careful not to press Buttons A and B accidentally during the game or the screen will be cleared and you will have to start again!

Are the any other ways to speed this game up? What if Button A was assigned for some of the LEDs and Button B was assigned for the others? How could you describe this scenario in terms of probability?

Week 4

Making a thermometer

The micro:bit can detect the temperature so making a thermometer is as easy as using the following code.  An alternative to this could be to use a blue 'Forever' block so that the temperature is continually displayed and updated rather than having to press a button.

Week 5

Making dice

The micro:bit has an in-built accelerometer.  This means that it can be used to detect motion, including being shaken.  The following code is all that is required to make a dice.

Week 6

Week 7

Week 8

Week 9

Week 10

Moderated self-assessment

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