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Holiday Coding Activities

Instructor: Shanna Fox

Shanna has been part of the whirlwind world of teaching middle school for 20 years. She has a Master of Education degree in instructional design.

Engaging students in themed coding activities can be a great way to introduce coding to beginners or challenge advanced coders to design something new and exciting. These holiday coding activities can be used with middle or high school coders.

Holiday Coding Activities

In these coding activities, designed for beginner to advanced levels, students can utilize their technical and creative skills to build unique technology products. Best used with middle or high school students, these activities will help you guide them through the coding process, develop their knowledge of different coding languages, and incorporate a holiday theme in their creations. For each activity, it's a good idea to have coding guides and troubleshooting resources available for students as they create. For beginners, these activities may have to be taken down a notch. For advanced coders, they can be extended or enhanced to challenge them.

In this activity, you can guide students through the creation of a custom Google logo. To put a holiday twist on the activity, consider adding a brief research component in which students explore holidays around the world. Provide time for brainstorming and sketching before students begin coding. This activity would work well with student partners or individuals.

Then, depending on their level of coding expertise, students can use code to create a Google logo that draws on multiple holidays, or they can select one holiday to focus on. Additionally, advanced coders can add interactivity to their Google logo. Allow students to show not only their logo products but the coding they used to achieve it. Adding a reflection portion can be beneficial, as students identify problems they faced and how they solved them, as well as new skills they developed along the way.

Holiday Recipes with Java

In this activity, students can use Java coding to create a holiday recipe webpage. Begin by allowing students to either bring in some recipes from home or explore recipe options online. Then, allow them to brainstorm ways they can build a website incorporating these recipes. For advanced coders, require that they add interactivity. For beginners, a basic webpage with the recipe and a few images provides a sufficient challenge.

Depending on the level of expertise, students have lots of choices when designing their webpage. Consider showing students a variety of recipe websites. For example, some recipes are shown with step-by-step images. Others simply include an image of the recipe in all its plated glory. Some recipe websites include clickable images that show a series of steps when selected. Others incorporate multimedia to demonstrate some steps.

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