Your child will write directions that teach a pretend robot how to do a task.
To begin, talk with your child about things they would like to program a robot to do for them. You can ask, “If you had your very own robot, what would you tell it to do?” Make a list of your child’s ideas. The ideas can be:
After your child comes up with some ideas, have them choose one to break down into steps.
Explain how they will write a list of directions or steps to program the robot. You can say, “Robots don’t know how to do things, so we need to tell them exactly what to do, step by step. That’s called programming the robot. Now, let’s write a list of instructions to program your robot to ____. We can break it into steps. What does the robot need to do first?” Continue to guide your child in listing the steps.
If your child skips a step, you can ask questions to get them back on track. For example, if your child is writing about how to make a bracelet and starts with “Step 1: Put the beads on the bracelet,” you might discuss how usually beads go on a wire or a string. You might ask, “How do you know how much string to use?” Help your child add “Cut the string to fit my wrist” as one of the first steps. In some cases, it might be helpful to encourage your child to make a list of supplies the robot will need to do a particular task before starting to write the steps.
To test out your child’s “programming,” have someone else pretend to be the robot who has to follow the steps. Have your child review and edit their writing as needed.