Ozobots in the Classroom | Connecting Coding to Curriculum

We are so incredibly lucky to have sets of Ozobots to take out to classrooms to work with students with. Ozobots are small, one inch robots that students can program using block code or markers. The Ozobots can move in different directions, light up different colors, and do fun moves like zig zag, spin, and skate.

Of course, the Ozobots are fun and all and students are completely engaged anytime we pull them out... However, how are we tying this "fun" to the curriculum to make sure students are learning and that the coding is tied to the curriculum?

Regardless of which type of robot you're using, this question always sticks with me as I work with teachers to plan lessons and units.

In Mrs. King's fourth grade class, the students were learning about the California Gold Rush as well as working on their geography skills.

Initially, the students were going to create a giant map of California and include major cities, bodies of water, and of course, Sutter's Fort. (Because of time constraints, the maps didn't quite get finished so we used smaller maps and it worked perfectly!)

Using these student created California maps, we created a challenge for the students using the Ozobots! The challenge: Your Ozobot is going on a road trip! Your Ozobot must start at Mission San Diego de Alcala, stop at three three major cities throughout California, stop to get a drink of water at a body of water, and end at Sutter's Fort.

First students worked with a partner to brainstorm and plan (always an important component of any lesson!).


Then they got to it!

Students got really creative! To show the Ozobots stopping at cities, students had their Ozobots light up a different color or spin around to show they were "looking around." Where the Ozobot got a drink of water, some groups programmed the Ozobot to light up blue.

This was a perfect tie-in to the curriculum! Kids were working on so many skills at once: Their map skills, coding, measurement, and geography. Not to mention collaborating, problem solving, critical thinking, and persevering through the entire lesson! #winwin

Other ideas for ways to tie programming to curriculum with any type of robot might be:

- Program your robot to travel through the human digestive system.
- Code your robot to travel through all fifty states. As it travels through each state, name the capital or a landmark you'd like to visit while there.
- Program your robot to visit each word, in alphabetical order.

Do you use robots in your classroom? How do you tie it to the curriculum!? I'd love to hear your ideas!

1 comment

  1. LOVE this and all of the ideas. We have a STEAM lab at our school with low funding, but this might be something we can work out. Thank you!