A Cornucopia of Thanksgiving Ideas for Robots in the Classroom

In the month of giving thanks, we’d love to take this opportunity to appreciate you all, our WONDERful educators. We are in awe of your hard work and devotion. And in the spirit of Thanksgiving, we thought we’d share some simple yet fun ideas that you can use to teach coding and robotics in the classroom. Here are some clever activities themed for good ol’ Turkey Day, many shared with us by educators like you:

Gather Your Ingredients

To get started, check out our online professional development Teach Wonder courses (see syllabi). And for TOMORROW ONLY (TUESDAY 12/13), we are offering our online course + robot for a deeply discounted price as part of Teach Wonder Day. Simply enter the promo codes on our site’s store to purchase this “delicious” deal:

 

  • Introduction to Coding & Robotics with Dash & Dot + DASH ROBOT: TWDNOV
  • Introduction to Coding & Robotics with Dash & Cue + CUE ROBOT: TWCNOV

Revisit the Original Colonies

Draw a floor map of the original 13 colonies and program Dash or Cue to visit each one. As they pass through, have them say a prerecorded historical fact about each colony. For an added challenge, have the robots visit the colonies in the order in which they were founded. Social studies objectives tied to computer science? A winning recipe!

Draw a Menu

Speaking of recipes, program Dash or Cue to use the Sketch Kit to create pictures of popular Thanksgiving foods and dishes. What would be the easiest food to re-create? Which would be harder: a precise slice of pie or the curve of a turkey drumstick?

Host a Social Gathering

Thanksgiving is quite a social event! Whom would you invite, from the past or present, to your Thanksgiving table? How might you tie in some historical fun facts as Dash or Cue visits your guests to give them an audio-recorded customized invite?

Lead a Thanksgiving Day Parade

We recently published this blog article, Who Doesn’t Love a Thanksgiving Day Parade, containing a student-facing, cross-curricular Nearpod lesson. Our article was inspired by some teachers using the picture book, Balloons Over Broadway, to create robot parades in their classrooms.

And the robots’ accessories could be helpful too during the construction phase — create costumes using the Building Brick Connectors and DIY materials for the robots to wear. Consider also creating elaborate floats for Dash or Cue to pull using the Tow Hook, and a parade in the making you have. What song could Dash play on the Xylophone during the festive march?

Play Turkey Hide & Seek

You might take an empathetic stand for all turkeys by dressing up Dash or Cue in their finest feathers and encouraging them to hide in designated spots until well after the holiday. Or maybe you are just too hungry! Hide Dot dressed as the turkey, and using their IR sensors, have kids program their Dash robots to find the festive bird. Who will be the first to feast?

Ready to Enjoy Some Pie?

It’s time to top the sweet potato pies! Set up dishes or buckets at various distances. Using the Launcher, program Dash to toss large marshmallows into the containers to earn points. Alternatively, you could challenge your kids to a pie eating contest. Program Dash to launch as many “pies” into a target’s mouth (cut out of a cardboard box) as possible. Set time limits or maybe have several hungry mouths of different sizes worth a variety of points.

Top Your Pie with some Hour of Code 

And the fun doesn’t have to stop when the turkey is all gone. Check out our six printable Winter WONDERland packets, perfect for the Hour of Code (Dec. 3-9). Use these packets to find robot-rich activities and send home the offline puzzles for some family fun. And be sure to register for our upcoming free webinar, Your Complete Guide to Hour of Code, on December 3rd.

Do share with us how your class is celebrating Thanksgiving with Dash, Dot, and Cue by tweeting us their Wonder Moment @WonderWorkshop with the hashtag #FunWithWonder. Happy Thanksgiving to all!UPDATE: Take a look at these clever ideas shared with us by you all: