Grade 2 Life Systems
Lesson Summary: Students will be creating an animated story that teaches others about actions that can be taken to
reduce negative impacts on animals.
Curriculum Expectations: These expectations are intended to highlight the many ways in which this lesson could support
the curriculum. It is neither expected nor necessary for teachers to address all of these expectations at once. Teachers
are encouraged to select the most relevant expectations based on their unique context and intentions for the lesson.
Science & Technology
Language - Writing
Overall Expectations
A2. use coding in investigations and
to model concepts, and assess the
impact of coding and of emerging
technologies on everyday life
A3. demonstrate an understanding of
the practical applications of science
and technology, and of contributions
to science and technology from
people with diverse lived experiences
B1. assess ways in which animals
have an impact on society and the
environment, and ways in which
human activities have an impact on
animals and the places where they
Specific Expectations
A2.1 write and execute code in
investigations and when modelling
concepts, with a focus on
decomposing problems into smaller
A2.2 identify and describe impacts of
coding and of emerging technologies
on everyday life
A3.3 analyse contributions to science
and technology from various
B1.1 examine impacts that animals
can have on society and the
environment, and describe some
ways in which any negative impacts
can be minimized
B1.2 assess impacts of various human
activities on animals and the places
where they live, and describe
practices that can minimize negative
Overall Expectations
C3. solve problems and create
computational representations of
mathematical situations using coding
concepts and skills
Specific Expectations
C3.1 solve problems and
create computational
representations of mathematical
situations by writing and executing
code, including code that
involves sequential events and
concurrent events
C3.2 read and alter existing code,
including code that involves
sequential and concurrent events,
and describe how changes to the
code affect the outcomes
Overall Expectations
1. Generate, gather, and organize
ideas and information to write for an
intended purpose and audience
2. draft and revise their writing, using
a variety of informational, literary,
and graphic forms and stylistic
elements appropriate for the purpose
and audience
Specific Expectations
1.1 identify the topic, purpose,
audience, and form for writing
1.2 generate ideas about a potential
topic, using a variety of strategies and
1.3 gather information to support
ideas for writing in a variety of ways
and/or from a variety of sources
1.4 sort ideas and information for
their writing in a variety of ways, with
support and direction
2.1 write short texts using a several
simple forms
2.3 use familiar words and phrases to
communicate relevant details
2.4 use a variety of sentence types
3.4 use punctuation to help
communicate their intended
meaning, with a focus on the use of:
question marks, periods, or
exclamation marks at the end of a
sentence; commas to mark pauses;
and some uses of quotation marks
3.8 produce pieces of published work
to meet criteria identified by the
teacher, based on the expectations
Breaking Down the Coding Expectations in Science & Technology:
In the Grade 2 Science & Technology curriculum, there are 2 coding related expectations:
A2.1 write and execute code in investigations and when modelling concepts, with a focus on decomposing
problems into smaller steps
A2.2 identify and describe impacts of coding and of emerging technologies on everyday life
To paraphrase these expectations and express them in plainer language, students are being asked to:
write code to demonstrate a science-related concept, focusing on understanding how each problem can be
split into individual steps
show how coding impacts our lives
Both expectations will be addressed through the project.
Learning Goals: We are learning to write code to create an animated story that teaches others about actions that can
be taken to reduce negative impacts on animals.
Success Criteria:
1. I can use basic start blocks and movement blocks to code my characters to move
2. I can add a background to my project that shows animals in nature
3. I can explain the sequence in my own words
4. I can explain algorithms in my own words
5. I can share strategies to help others protect animals
STEM Profile:
Mollie Beattie was the first-ever, female director of the United States Fish and Wildlife
Service. She was someone who cared deeply about protecting habitats so that negative
impacts on animals are limited.
During her career, she set up more than 100 habitat conservation plans, created 15
new wildlife refuges, and was a champion for the Endangered Species Act, which helps
protect animals that are at risk of going extinct.
One of her proudest moments was reintroducing gray wolves into the northern Rocky
Mountains after their habitat was destroyed over many years. In fact, she actually
personally carried the first wolf back into its habitat!
Like Mollie, we will be teaching others how to avoid negative impacts on animals and
to protect their environments.
Minds On:
1. Students will have different experience levels when it comes to coding.
a. If students have never experienced coding before, please watch the “What is Coding?” video.
b. If students have experienced coding before, have a quick discussion in which students share their definition
of coding. Some responses to look for include:
i. Coding is the language that computers speak
ii. Coding is how we talk to computers or get computers to do what we want
iii. Coding is the instructions that we give to a computer
2. Introduce the idea of an algorithm, which is a set of steps we can give to a computer so it can perform a task. You
may want to watch this video to further explain the idea.
3. Similar to the concept of an algorithm is the concept of a sequence. A sequence is the order in which you write your
code and the order matters. Think of a recipe to make a cake; if the steps are put in the wrong order (think back to
the algorithm), the cake will come out all wrong. When writing code, a task needs to be broken down into smaller
steps and put in the right order for the algorithm to be successful.
a. Discussion: Can students think of a time when they did the steps of a task in the wrong order? What
4. Another key concept for students to understand is concurrent events. Concurrent events are when two or more
things are happening at the same time. In coding with Scratch Jr, this can mean two different characters are
performing actions at the same time (i.e., both characters moving across the screen simultaneously), or that a single
character is performing multiple actions at the same time (i.e., moving across the screen while spinning). There are
also many real life examples of concurrent events, such as walking and talking or eating and watching TV.
5. Brainstorm with students to come up with ideas for their project. This can be done in small groups or as a whole
class. Some sample prompts include:
a. What do animals need for a healthy environment?
b. What human activities affect animals negatively? What effect does this have on the animals?
c. What can be done to protect animals?
d. How do animals help humans?
Planning Our Project: Provide students with the animated story project planner and encourage students to create at
least three scenes in their public service announcement. If creating multiple scenes, each could depict different
strategies for protecting animals or could be one continuous story about a single strategy.
Students should create a rough sketch of what will happen in each scene by writing a few words or a sentence describing
what happens in the scene. Teachers may wish to provide a list of words from which to choose, a scribe, or other assistive
technology to support students.
Creating Our Project: Please see the “Sample Code” section of the lesson for screenshots and a full video showcasing a
sample project and all its code.
1. If you have not used Scratch Jr before, please consider watching the videos at the following links in order to
understand the basics of the platform:
Scratch Jr Intro
Scratch Jr Activities Guide
2. In the first page of the project, add the first background using the Change Background button (5).
3. Choose the main character and begin writing the code to move and animate the character. Students are
encouraged to use the Say” block from the purple “Looks” menu to add dialogue to their story or to record
and add a sound from the green “Sounds” menu to add audio files to communicate orally. Students can also
add multiple characters, and even design their own characters using the Paint Editor if they wish. Make sure
that all of their blocks of code are connected to a trigger block, such as the “Start on Green Flag” block.
4. When students are ready to create their second scene, add another page.
5. In the second scene, add a background, characters, and write the code. Remember that the code for each
character and on each page is created separately. Students can copy a character and its code, if needed.
6. When students are happy with their second scene, go back to page 1. In the code for the character whose code
ends last, use the “Go to Page” end block to specify the page project. If students have already added multiple
pages, make sure to choose the correct page (look for the #). This will trigger the next scene to start
7. Repeat for any additional scenes.
8. To play the story, press the Green Flag button. Students are encouraged to use Presentation Mode to make
their story full screen.
Sample Code:
Option A: Video
Option B: Screenshots
Students can explore the symbolic relevance of certain animals in different cultures or for different
holidays/traditions and incorporate this into their story.
Students can use the camera on their device to take photos to serve as the background or as a character using
the Paint Editor.
To learn more about issues related to protecting animals, consider the following books and videos:
o “Will You Miss Us If We Go” by Paige Jaeger
o “A Sparrow’s Disappearing Home” by Mary Ellen Klukow
o “Shady Streams, Slippery Salamanders” by Jason Patrick Love
o “Over and Under the Pond” By Kate Messner
o “The Boreal Forest: A Year in the World’s Largest Land Biome” by L.E. Carmichael
Sharing Our Work/Consolidation:
1. Students should be provided with time to share their projects with others and to engage in self and peer
assessment. This can be done in a variety of different formats, including a gallery walk, whole class
presentation, or trading” their project with another student. Students can provide feedback in a variety of
ways, including written and verbal. A variety of feedback options and templates are available in Appendix A.
2. An important aspect of assessing student understanding is focusing on the process, not the product. While it is
important to have a final product that functions as intended, students are often asked to produce something
within a limited time frame; therefore, it may be the case that, given more time, a student would be able to
produce a fully functional product.
To assess learning, teachers can conference with students throughout the creation of their projects using the
anecdotal prompts in Appendix B and documenting these discussions using an anecdotal observations chart.
Teachers are encouraged to consider the troubleshooting strategies used by students throughout the project,
their ability to explain how their project works, and what they might do differently in the future.
3. A rubric can be used to evaluate the final product. This and other assessment and evaluation tools can be
modified, as needed.
Low -Tech/No-Tech Modifications:
While it is ideal to have one device per student, this is not the reality for many classrooms. If you are planning
to have students work in groups, consider a maximum group size of 2 students to ensure as much “hands-on”
time with coding as possible. If access to devices is limited, you may wish to implement this lesson as part of a
station rotation within your classroom or use another strategy to work with small groups.
Scratch Jr does not require access to the internet beyond downloading the app.
If you have no access to devices, you can:
print these cards from Scratch Jr, cut them out, and have students create their code with the paper
blocks instead
use these templates to create printable stickers and use the stickers to allow students to create their
You may also wish to print out images of the background scenes and characters to further support
Appendix A: Self and Peer Feedback
Student Self Assessment
o Thumbs Up
Peer Assessment
o Two Stars and a Wish
Appendix B: Anecdotal Prompts
Throughout the time when students are creating their projects, teachers are encouraged to circulate and conference
with students to discuss their projects and progress. The process is just as, if not more, important than the final product
when it comes to coding, so this is key to truly understanding a student's understanding.
Key Concepts
Students should be able to identify, name, and explain key coding concepts in their own words; for example, sequence