Searching For Inspiration
Find an interesting creature in Open Processing
In this exercise students finish the creature that they started developing earlier. In the first phase they are advised to search for inspiration in Open Processing, which is a website where artists and programmers around the world have added their projects.
While using Open Processing, students understand the power of the maker-community - it’s always possible to learn from others and also get feedback and praise of your own work.
If students want, they can make their own account to Open Processing (instructional video is in the final step of this project). Remember that you can also just browse the projects in Open Processing without registration or uploading your own projects. And nothing is better than seeing and discussing each others work in your real physical classroom!
Make It Your Own
The Creature - Example Projects
The Anxious Cyclope
Only ellipses are used - except the sweatdrop is drawn with a triangle and an ellipse.
Exercise Instructions 1/2:
Advised maximum time for the project is 20 minutes.
Make a creature! Your project should meet the following requirements.
- Add at least three different shapes (e.g. an ellipse a triangle and a rectangle).
- Use at least three different colors.
- Don't copy the owl-example or any other example directly.
If you feel that students just copy the code of others, you should maybe have a discussion about this in the classroom. It might not be wise to restrict using the web too much because students might do it anyway and It’s a good resource to find inspiration. It’s also how real programmers work (but of course they have first learned the basics).
Wiser than to forbid copying totally might be to learn to use it wisely. Good guideline is that you have to understand all the code you use and be able to produce it yourself.
Activity: Encourage students to design the creature on paper first, using the common regular shapes.
The Creature: Adding Comments
Exercise Instructions 2/2:
Write comments to your code with “//” marks and explanations.
If you feel like it, you can also add your project to Open Processing. For instructions, check the video above.
Try to remind the students to write comments to their code from now on. This is a good habit that is easy to forget! It’s also a way to learn - once you have to explain your code, you might understand some things in a new light.