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Introduction to
Ozobot and Colour Codes

Years F-2

Students are introduced to Ozobot and how drawing lines and colour codes can control it. This lesson allows students to experiment with different lines and codes to create a path for Ozobot to follow.

This lesson idea was created by Steven Payne.



Overview

Resources

(Instead of paper, you can also code Ozobot by drawing on tablets, using apps such as Explain Everything or OneNote.)

Prior Student Learning

Digital Technologies

It may be that students have done some prior unplugged algorithms (simple following and providing instructions).

Mathematics

Students have done some work on navigational language (left, right, forward, backward).

Open palm holding a man

Additional scaffolding:

To further represent prior learning, you may want to review simple algorithms and/or navigational language by a whole-group discussion, a demonstration or activity, or a descriptive video. You can play the game ‘Simon Says’ or use examples from the lesson ‘Introducing Algorithms’. You may want to have definitions and examples on the whiteboard or on a handout so students have a reference during the lesson. For example, explain the concept of sequencing where you need to put things in a particular order. The lesson ‘Fairytale Fun’ demonstrates the importance of putting each part of the story in the correct order so that the story of ‘Goldilocks and the Three Bears’ makes sense.

Learning hook

Introduce Ozobot and explain how the robot works.

Limited, low, or no vision icon

Limited, low or no vision:

This task can be modified for those students with colour-blindness or limited, low, or no vision. First, come up with a way to differentiate the four coloured felt markers by touch. For example, you can put thick tape, band-aids, or ribbons around each, so they feel different. Alternately, you could use scented felt markers. Next, you may want to create a tactile Ozobot Colour Code reference sheet so the student can check on different codes independently. Also allow the student to feel the Ozobot move along the paper, you can tape a feather or similar light material, to the top of the bot; something that the student can touch that will not affect the movement of the robot. You may want to use raised barriers so the student can easily orientate themselves within the play space when drawing the lines.

With a black marker, draw a line and show how Ozobot follows it.

Repeat for other colours.

Show Ozobots sensors on the bottom and explain that these are its eyes – it can follow lines and can see different colours.

Draw crossing lines (or use print out) and ask students to predict what will happen when Ozobot reaches a junction.

Image of a cross that the Ozobot can follow

Place Ozobot at the start, and repeat a few times. The turn is random, so run enough times to demonstrate this.

Were your predictions correct?

Learning map and outcomes

  • Students describe the sequence of turns that Ozobot needs to make.
  • Students work in teams to design their algorithm using a sequence of colour codes, that navigate Ozobot along a path.
  • Students can draw paths, including colour codes and control Ozobot along the paths.
  • Students can debug their algorithms and troubleshoot (line thickness, calibration etc.)

Learning input

Show how colour codes work. Demonstrate “Go right’ and ‘Fast’ as examples.

Explain that students are going to construct their own paths and make some paths for Ozobot to follow.

Ozobot is quite fussy, so you’ll need to work out how thick the lines need to be and what size to draw the colour codes.

Suggest checking that ink is dry before putting Ozobot on the line.

Learning construction

Students understand that Ozobots have sensors and follow lines and colour code instructions.

They work in small groups or pairs to construct paths using paper and coloured pens.

This is an opportunity for students to play and find out how to control the Ozobots.

Have codes printed and available or displayed at the front of the class. Example codes to start with:

Go Left, Go Straight, Go Right, Slow, Fast, U-turn

As students draw lines, teacher asks questions:

  • Why did you draw this bit?
  • What would happen if you added a line here?
  • Would Ozobot always go that way?

(Perhaps have available some copies of activity sheet 3 from the Programming with colours worksheet.)

Learning demo

Once students have got working drawings and solved any problems, choose a couple of groups to present what they have created with the class:

  • What does Ozobot do?
  • What did you discover about the lines or codes?
  • What worked well?
  • What did not work well?
  • Did you change anything?

Learning reflection

Bring together the observations from the learning demo and, with the students, come up with a list of rules, e.g.

  • Thickness of the lines
  • What size the codes need to be
  • What works and doesn’t work with the lines (e.g. curves, turns etc.)

Resources