Jake Lee

Boise State University

Coding and Dancing: Using Videos to Enhance Coding


The students will write a pseudocode of a dance they develop.  They will then videotape the dance that matches the pseudocode. The video will be viewed by another student who will then write the code they think matches the video. The students will compare their codes after the videos are viewed.

Content Area and Grade or Age Level of Students

First Grade Students


Standards Addressed

2. Communication and collaboration

Students use digital media and environments to communicate and work collaboratively, including at a distance, to support individual learning and contribute to the learning of others.

a. Interact, collaborate, and publish with peers, experts, or others employing a variety of digital environments and media

b. Communicate information and ideas effectively to multiple audiences using a variety of media and formats

Relative Advantage:

Coding needs to be concrete and accessible to young students. By incorporating movement, the coding comes alive and helps students really conceptualize coding in real life. The videotaping allows students to dive deeper by revisiting and watching the coding process.


This lesson will happen in one class period. It will take approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes to complete the activity.


Grouping Strategies: 

Students will be grouped with their iPad buddy who are already assigned to them.  The groups are heterogeneous in coding ability.

Learning Activities:

We will begin the lesson on the carpet. I will model the process of thinking of a quick dance and then writing pseudocode for that dance. We will review the process of using the video camera on our iPads. The dance can be no longer than 15 seconds. We will review how to keep track of time in the iPad camera app.  I will have a student volunteer model videotaping my dance. We will review my pseudocode and dance video and then  move to the interactive activity.

The students will be paired with their iPad buddies. I will instruct each group to have a videotaper and a dancer. They will come up with the dance together and write the code together. The dance can be no longer than 15 seconds. Then the dancer will dance the code while the videotaper videos the dance. They will check the video and the code before time is up.

Next, I will pass out a piece of paper to the groups. I will then instruct each group to switch iPads with another group. Once all iPads are exchanged, groups will watch the dance provided by that group’s members. The viewers will watch the video and write the pseudocode for that video.

We will end by giving time for the groups to meet to compare codes. They can debug the pseudocode together and run the dance together as well. The groups will load their dance video to a Google Drive folder for the teacher to review.  They will also turn in their pseudocode papers as well.


The videos will be viewed in Google Drive and the teacher will review the pseudocode as an assessment measure.

Adaptations for Learners with Special Needs:

The small group learning environment will be an accessible to children of all learning styles. The videotaping also allows for more processing time for students who need more time to watch the dance video.  Pseudocode is also an accessible practice since it can be developed by the learner. It can be written in a way that is easiest to them.


ISTE Student Standards (2007) Retrieved from: http://www.iste.org/docs/pdfs/20-14_ISTE_Standards-s_PDF.pdf