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Using children’s literature to introduce computing principles and concepts in primary schools

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With the recent paradigm shift in the teaching of computing and computational thinking skills, schools are engaging pupils as young as five in learning principles and concepts of programming. However, there are still many challenges within primary computing education, including the cost and availability of resources, and teachers’ familiarity and/or confidence with these resources. In this paper, we offer an approach that develops a creative story-based pedagogy to address constraints such as these and facilitate the development of lesson plans supporting scaffolding and differentiation. Children’s literature is used to introduce concepts such as pattern matching, abstraction and algorithms, along with the three main programming constructs of sequencing, repetition and selection. Through four stages of Read- Act-Model-Program (RAMP), we present a set of unplugged and Scratch-based activities and reflect on the potential impact of this educational opportunity to inspire an early interest in computing.