Three resources for teaching text-based programming
Are you planning to run a Dojo session soon? Do you want some new project ideas to try with your Ninjas? You may remember our post about moving young people from block- to text-based programming and how this can open up new creative opportunities for young coders: this is because there are things that only text-based programming can do.
In this blog post, we will explore the text-based programming language, Python, and share three resources to help you teach it. People often compare text-based programming to learning a language. Python is particularly popular among educators in English-speaking regions because its syntax is similar to the English language.
1. ‘Introduction to Python’ project path
This resource guides the learner through a series of step-by-step projects that are arranged in a path. Each project introduces the learner to a new skill and is intended to develop their confidence and independence. There are six awesome projects in this path. Ninjas will learn to draw shapes, edit images, and create frame-by-frame animations!
Once a Ninja has completed the ‘Introduction to Python’ path, you can celebrate their achievement with this editable certificate.
3. ‘Introducing Python in your club’ webinar
If you would like more in-depth information about introducing Python in your Dojo, we have the perfect webinar for you. The recording includes a discussion on the scope of this powerful programming language, as well as practical tips and resources to help you teach it.
Things to keep in mind
These projects are aimed at young people aged 11 to 13 years old, though younger children at the right skill level can also use them. Bear in mind that young children are still developing coordination and dexterity, therefore they may be slow at typing. It is important that adults who support them are patient. You could encourage Ninjas to practise their typing skills for a session first to see how competent they are at typing using both hands. There are many free online tools to help develop typing skills, such as these lessons from Typing.com.
It is also inevitable that children will make mistakes when they type out code — making mistakes is actually an integral part of the learning process! However, to ensure that your Ninjas do not become overly frustrated:
- If you know the solution, then support them to identify the problem themselves by asking leading questions. If they still aren’t finding the mistake, then you can explain the solution, but get them to type the code themselves.
- If you don’t know the answer, then be honest about this! It is good for your Ninjas to know that you are still learning too. You can then work out the issue together.
Once your Ninjas have some cool Python projects under way, you can encourage them to take part in Coolest Projects 2022! Registration is open until 11 May 2022.