In this activity, participants explore block programming, improve their problem solving and creativity skills, and garner patience. Youth will create their own side-scrolling game, on Code.org’s platform called Flappy Bird, and use code to change the visuals, the rules, and even gravity. Once complete, participants can share their versions with other participants and play the game on a smartphone.
To Do in Advance
- If applicable: send home the Codemakers Code.Org Sign Up form, so that participants can register for their own Code.org account to track their progress and iterate their game after this activity.
- Create a Google Document called Google Help Flappy Bird FAQ and update the share settings to “Anyone with the link can edit” (https://www.google.ca/docs/about/)
- Use Google’s URL shortener to create a shortened URL of the FAQ that you can share with participants.
Opening Hook: Introduction to Flappy Bird
Ask participants who has heard of Flappy Bird. Check to see how many have ever coded their own version of Flappy Bird. If many have, have them be “Google Help” for the remainder of the activity – when others need help, they can ask for help like you could do by utilizing Google’s support desk. To extend this further, have Google Help supporters document participant questions and answers and build their own FAQ google document that you can share with future groups using the document you created.
Show participants the introductory video to Flappy bird from Code.org: https://youtu.be/VQ4lo6Huylc
Section 1: Code Flappy Bird
Provide participants with individual access to: http://studio.code.org/flappy/1(alternately, participants can work in pairs or small groups). Encourage them to sign in if they have already created their own account, or just begin using the game as a guest if they did not.
Encourage them to work at their own pace through the 10 puzzles. Depending on your schedule and their sign-up access, remind them that they can come back to this activity when they finish other activities, or can complete the activity again later at home.
Remind participants that this isn’t a race, but a chance for them to build their skills and really learn to code, not just finish the game.
Reflection & Debrief
- Have youth visit each others’ computer stations so that they can see how their peers changed the visuals, rules, and gravity in their own games.
- Tweet to @ActuaCanada with #Codemakers to share your game design with the Actua Network
Extensions & Modifications
- Provide timed challenges to complete the activity.
- Have participants work individually and later compare solutions.
- Have students work in pairs or small groups to collaborate on the challenges.
- Provide extended time to work through the platform.