Students have been exposed to Sphero using playbased learning, and are able to create simple algorithms using Lightning Lab. They are familiar with the coding aspects to enable basic control of a sphero eg move in a square.
What makes a good game?
Present some examples of good games that could include the Sphero. For example, in PacMan, the Sphero can play the role of monsters.
What elements are essential? Optional?
How can we use Sphero to create a game that requires programming to play (not simply using the Drive tool)?
Ask the students to think about tasks that are repetitive or complex in the game: for example, if the game is a pong¬like game, the Sphero would need to move for a while in one direction, then move into another, etc this type of behaviour is a good candidate for using functions.
Introduce the students to the concept of functions, showing how functions dramatically reduce the number of lines of code we have to write.
For each algorithm, students work in groups to identify the basic building blocks for achieving the task:
Introduce the concept of function parameters and how these are used within functions.
Revisit the coding and use of Sphero What is possible?
Discuss elements of a good game What is the aim of the game? Rules, instructions, variations
Discuss why/how Sphero may be a good addition to a game
Students are now asked to design a game using Sphero that matches the elements of a ‘good game’ discussed earlier. The choice of game is up to the students, however must be playable by a small groups (2¬4 players). A variety of materials will be provided to provoke thoughts and ideas. Students work in small groups.
Demonstrate examples of Sphero games (photos, videos) such as the ones below. Be aware that showing examples may lead to ‘copying’ without thought. Copying with variations will be acceptable.
Groups must then combine and team¬teach their game to another group. Students must self¬assess and peer assess their own game and someone elses’ based on the following criteria:
There are many Sphero apps now available to explore with your students on the iPad, more being added over time. Only a few are currently compatible with Sphero SPRK+. Here are some of the ones you might explore with your student: