Motivate for-loops by having students informally describe how to draw a set of 5 shapes, then having them turn this description into pseudocode to practice for-loops.

  • This is a great activity to use when Teaching with Processing because you can create a follow-up assignment to turn the pseudocode into Processing.
    • In order to do this, use this activity after students learn to draw shapes in Processing.
  • Activity:
    • Give students a picture of 5 shapes (like boxes, circles, or rectangles) that you want drawn.
    • Ask students to explain to a partner how to draw this picture.
      • Students will often say things like "do it again."
    • Next, ask students to create a more formal definition.
    • Then, have write down their instructions using pseudocode.
    • Once students have pseudocode, introduce the syntax necessary for creating a for-loop.
      • Ask students how they can change their pseudocode to include the new concept of for-loops.
  • The goal of this assignment is to transition from students explaining action as "do it again" to using for-loops.