How to Teach Coding through Stories in Early Childhood Classrooms
Keywords:coding, early childhood, unplugged, story based learning
Computational thinking is important for everyone and focuses on solving problems, designing systems, and understanding human behavior through fundamental concepts of computer science. Early years are important for young students to learn coding, and at the same time, they can improve problem solving and computational thinking skills. Coding can be introduced to students through unplugged and plugged activities. Unplugged activities are more appropriate for young students since they contain concrete practices and teach main coding concepts in an entertaining, motivating, and challenging way in accordance with the developmental levels of children. Owing to this fact, the purpose of the current study was to demonstrate the implementation of stories as unplugged activities for teaching coding at an early childhood level. In the context of this study, preschool teacher candidates were considered and a 14-weeks-training (including theory and practice sessions) was implemented to teach computational thinking, coding concepts, and STEAM activities. After this training, teacher candidates engaged in creating unplugged activities to teach coding to preschoolers. In this respect, the study considered two different unplugged activities: Storigami (implementation of origami activities through stories) and Coding through Stories. Hence, 15 teacher candidates learned successfully how to teach coding and created various stories to teach coding to preschoolers. This paper introduces these activities as appropriate unplugged activities on the way of introducing coding concepts to young children. In the light of the findings, suggestions were presented to preschool teacher candidates, teachers, teacher training instructors and researchers.
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