Sugar Labs @ NDSU

Building a smarter computing culture in Fargo, ND

Grades 3-5: 14 Week Curriculum

The team at Sugar Labs@NDSU designed this 14-week curriculum for grades 3-5 in an after-school setting. Please feel free to take, transform, expand any of the ideas here. If you do, we would love to hear about where and how you hope to help kids learn more about learning.

Considering our context, we decided to break up the 14-week curriculum into two 7-week plans. Each half of the curriculum, then, scaffolds in some different interdisciplinary concepts.

Part One: Math and Arts

Week 1 :: Exploring Sugar & “What is a computer?”

Sugar Interface Handout

1. Why are we here? A brief account of our afterschool program. Explore the question of “What is a computer?” and have fun, learning how to learn with a computer. (5 minutes)

2. Explain Sugar to the group. Insert USB, turn computer on, press F12, and find out. Use our interface guide or simply explore the interface. (5 minutes)

3. What did you learn? Write it down in Write. How is Sugar similar to and different than Windows/Mac OS? (5-10)

4. Take home activity: a) try the SoaS out on your home computer (link to start-up document) and let Mr. Gast know if it doesn’t work for you–we will try to help; explore as many activities as you can once you get SoaS working; be prepared to tell us about your favorite activity next Tuesday (you could even write about your experiences before then). (5)

Week 2 :: Activities


1. Report on your favorite activities. Let’s see if there is a class favorite. Did anyone try “Typing Turtle”? (15-20)

2. Downloading an Activity: let students see that there are more activities than just the ones we have given them. Recommendations: I Know America, Mancala, Labyrinth, Listen and Spell, Spirolaterals. This will also introduce them to getting online with Sugar.

3. Sharing an activity (if time allows). Write, Etoys, or something else–see if we can walk them through Neighborhoods and Groups.

4. Talk about the different type of activities, different functions and difficulty, as well as how to get more. Also show them how to get rid of an activity from their circle (or make that a home challenge).

5. Have students write journal entries reflecting on experiences using these different kinds of activities and where they might use it.

Homeplay: Learn how to download an activity from home, play around with it, and then report to the Tech Team on your findings. Re-enforce what we have done today. Learn more about Sugar. See recommendations above.

Week 3 & 4 :: Narrative Activity (1 & 2)

Week 5 :: Intro to Turtle Art

Weeks 6 & 7:: Turtle Art Challenge

Part Two: Science, Writing, and Games

Week 8 :: Physics Machine

Level 1 – Exploring Your Tools in Physics

Physics Machine Level 1 Lesson

Physics Machine Level 1 Lesson

Level 2 – Design and Documentation

Physics Machine - Level 2-Design and Documentation

Physics Machine - Level 2-Design and Documentation

Week 9 :: Physics Machine (cont’d)

Level 3
Level 4

Week 10 :: Physics Machine

Games/Stories and Coding

Week 11 :: Intro to Etoys

Intro to Etoys
Help students become familiar with Etoys by going through the tutorials and playing around with the car on the home screen. What can they make it do?

Talk about the Tiles, Haloes, Painting objects, programming objects.

If time, start the race track project:
In etoys, paired tech teamers will create a race track that will include some kind of racing object (e.g., horse, car, animal, etc.) that stays inside their lanes as it moves.

Would there be a way for us to develop this game together, i.e. all of us

Week 12 :: Design First!

[content coming]

Week 13 :: Development and Documentation: Pt. 1

[content coming]

Week 14 :: Development and Docmentation: Pt. 2

[content coming]

Learning Challenge Day

Meet with tech team for two sessions to discuss what we have accomplished, their perceptions of Sugar, how it could be used in school, outside of school, maybe how they’re perceptions of computers have changed, if at all…

Also, discuss Turtle Art Day in May and how they should prepare…


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