This morning, I introduced some Python programming to one of my Year 8 classes. I have recently introduced it to my Year 7s – but introduced to one of my Year 8 classes today.
The first activity to engage their interest was to allow them to interrogate Collette Curry‘s chatbot called ‘Chaturing‘. The children certainly enjoyed the activity and many of them found it difficult to tear themselves away from it. In fact, later in the lesson I discovered that they kept returning to it when they thought I was not watching them.
In this first audioboo I ask the children what they thought about the chatbot, the questions they asked and what reponses they received.
In the next activity I introduced the class to the Python interactive shell (IDLE) and demonstrated evaluating some simple expressions. Then in a new window, the class all typed in a simple ‘Hello World’ program then taking care to save the file appropriately with the .py extension on the end.
Once the class had created a simple program that asked them their name using myName = () and then returned the function print(‘Hello ‘+myName) . Many pupils then repeated this form of print, input, print to improve their prgram and add apprarent arificial elements to their program. I used Al Sweigart’s book ‘Invent With Python’ to base my lesson around.
The questions that many of the children subsequently added to their code were in the order of What’s you favourite hair colour.
At the end of the lesson I asked some pupils about the good and bad points of the lesson.