I am constantly on the lookout for ways to introduce computational thinking into the wider curriculum. Many people regard computational thinking as an essential 21st Century skill. Basically, it consists of the ability to break down a problem into its core components, the ability to identify recurring patterns or connections, the ability to generalise and abstract these patterns and the ability to create algorithms that will result in a solution.
All these aspects, the 8C students experienced while creating animations using Scratch (drag and drop programming blocks) to show their understanding of dichotomous keys.
Within their programme they create events, experience parallel programming and use broadcasts to synchronise the actions of multiple sprites. And, also of importance, they deepen their understanding of dichotomous keys.
Note that many students found this hard, but all had fun and they all were engaged in the important task of iterative problem solving.
One comments from a student goes …”Working with Scratch is great once you get the hang of it. At times it can be tedious, but in the end the rewards are worth it.” Anything that may have a repetivitie element to it can become tedious but maybe that might be the next challenge …. looking for ways to reuse coding so that the coding process is less tedious.