Year 5 Sphero Programming Activity Pack
On many occasions in Primary Computing, the pupils are using programming language that is controlling on-screen objects such as Scratch, Kodu, Hopscotch etc. However, it also important that children write programs to control physical devices to make connection between digital and physical objects. Sphero is a bluetooth wireless ball that can be programmed from an iPad or Android device using various different apps. This unit or parts of it can be taught right across Key Stage 1 and 2 but the programming aspect of it (Lesson 2 onwards) is best for Key Stage 2. It requires Spheros and iPads/Android/Chromebook devices with the Sphero Edu app so dependent on how many Spheros and iPads you have will determine how you teach it. For example, it could be taught as a Code Club activity if equipment is limited.
What will you need?
iPad/Android/Chromebook devices with Sphero Edu app. See device compatibility here
Sphero 2.0 or Sphero Sprk+ or Sphero Mini (multiple Spheros if possible)
Coloured paper and sticky tape
The video above includes a demonstration of how the teachers can setup the Lightning Lab app to use with pupils.
Cross curriculur opportunities
2D Shapes - Lesson 2 and 3 of this unit look at writing a program to draw/move sphere around 2D shapes such as squares and rectangles.
Angles - When the Sphero is being programmed to move, its direction is determined by the angle in which it is set at.
Lesson 4 of this unit introduces outputs where the device will speak and the pupils can tell a story as the Sphero moves from place to place.
Pupils can design paper covers for the Sphero based around different themes or linked to storytelling in lesson 4.
Lesson 2 talks about moving the Sphero by programming how long in seconds the Sphero will move forward for. A simple science experiment could be set up where the Sphero moves for the same length of time on different surfaces and distances could then be measured.
Science (Planets) or Geography Map
Lesson 4 also has example of the Sphero visiting different planets on a poster and saying facts about them.