Grade 5 Life Systems
Lesson Summary: Students will create an interactive story that demonstrates beneficial social/environmental factors
on human health, with a focus on strategies/factors used by First Nations, Métis, and Inuit communities.
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 and in
STEM-related fields
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. Analyse impacts of various social
and environmental factors, human
activities, and technologies on human
B2. Demonstrate an understanding of
the structure and function of human
body systems and interactions within
and between systems
Specific Expectations
A2.1 write and execute code in
investigations and when modelling
concepts, with a focus on using
different methods to store and
process data for a variety of
A2.2 identify and describe impacts of
coding and of emerging technologies
on everyday life, including skilled
A3.3 analyse contributions to science
and technology from various
B1.1 assess effects of a variety of
social and environmental factors on
human health, and describe ways in
which individuals can reduce the
harmful effects of these factors and
take advantage of those that are
B1.2 evaluate beneficial and harmful
effects of various technologies on
human health and body systems,
while taking different perspectives
into consideration
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 conditional statements and
other control structures
C3.2 read and alter existing code,
including code that involves
conditional statements and other
control structures, and describe how
changes to the code affect the
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
1.5 identify and order main ideas and
supporting details into units that
could be used to develop a short,
simple para- graph, using graphic
1.6 determine whether the ideas and
information they have gathered are
relevant and adequate for the
purpose, and gather new material if
2.1 write short texts using a variety of
2.3 use words and phrases that will
help convey their meaning as
specifically as possible
2.4 vary sentence structures and
maintain continuity by using joining
words (e.g., and, or) to combine
simple sentences and using words
that indicate time and sequence to
link sentences
2.6 identify elements of their writing
that need improvement, using
feedback from the teacher and peers,
with a focus on specific features
B1.3 explain how food literacy can
support decisions that affect physical
and mental health
B2.1 identify systems of the human
body, and describe their basic
B2.3 describe interrelationships
between human body systems
B2.4 identify various diseases and
medical disorders in humans and the
organs and/or body system or
systems that they affect
2.7 make revisions to improve the
content, clarity, and interest of their
written work, using several types of
3.4 use punctuation to help
communicate their intended
meaning, with a focus on the use of:
quotation marks to indicate direct
speech; commas to mark
grammatical boundaries within
sentences; capital letters and final
punctuation to mark the beginning
and end of sentences
3.8 produce pieces of published work
to meet identified criteria based on
the expectations related to content,
organization, style, use of
conventions, and use of presentation
Breaking Down the Coding Expectations in Science & Technology:
In the Grade 5 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 using different
methods to store and process data for a variety of purposes
A2.2 identify and describe impacts of coding and of emerging technologies on everyday life, including skilled
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 using data to influence code
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 to teach others about beneficial social and
environmental factors on human health, with a focus on strategies used by First Nations, Métis, and Inuit communities.
Success Criteria:
1. I can use a variety of event blocks to trigger different parts of my story
2. I can use conditionals to respond to data in my code
3. I can use the Ask () and Wait blocks to seek input from my user
4. I can share strategies for how to positively impact human health
STEM Profile:
An environmental health scientist focuses on identifying the relationships and
risks of the physical environment and the impact it has on our health. They try to
improve the public’s health by addressing these issues and putting effort into
eliminating the risks in the environment.
Sandra Steingraber is a biologist, who writes and lectures on environmental links
to cancer. She received a doctorate in biology from the University of Michigan and
went on to join the faculty at Cornell University. She wrote a book in 1997 called
Living Downstream that focuses on industrial and agricultural pollution and its
impact on our health. Sandra Steingraber is an advocate for environmental health
and has participated in many protests to raise awareness about situations that
negatively impact the environment and our health.
Like Sandra, we will use our knowledge of the body and the environment to help
others understand how to protect themselves and keep themselves healthy!
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 a conditional, a statement that allows the computer to respond to different situations (or
conditions) based on a certain set of criteria. There are two main types of conditionals.
a. If/then conditionals are only able to respond to one condition. You can create multiple conditionals to
respond to different data, but each conditional on its own is just able to respond to one condition. Some
real-life examples include:
If it is raining, then bring an umbrella
If you are hungry, then eat a snack
If it is cold outside, then wear a sweater
b. If/then/else conditionals are slightly different. The else can be thought of as a “none of the above” option,
similar to a multiple choice test. The else will only run if the condition for the if/then is false. Some real-
life examples include:
If it is raining, then bring an umbrella, else leave the umbrella at home
If you are hungry, then eat a snack, else don’t eat a snack
If it is cold outside, then wear a sweater, else wear a t-shirt.
Discussion: Can students think of other real-life examples of conditional statements?
3. Brainstorm with students to generate ideas for their animated story. Some discussion prompts include:
o What does it mean to be healthy?
o Which body systems contribute to our health?
o What are factors that help us maintain our health? What are factors that harm our health?
o What are internal and external factors that can harm our health?
o What strategies can we use to help protect ourselves from external harms to our health?
Planning Our Project:
Provide students with the animated story project planner and encourage students to create between three and four
scenes in their story. Students should create an outline of their scenes by drawing pictures and writing a few words or
sentences, including any dialogue that will appear on screen, and starting to plan their code, if applicable. 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:
Since every student’s project will be unique, there is no single, step-by-step set of instructions to follow; however, the
information below will support your students in the general process of creating an animated story, as well as key
features that they will likely want to include. This sample code further demonstrates how the project might work and
please note that there is code included for each of the sprites and the stage. For your reference, Scratch determines
where to display sprites and controls movement using a Cartesian coordinate system, with (0,0) being the center of the
screen and it may be helpful to pre-teach this concept, if it is one with which students are unfamiliar.
1. Choose or create your backdrop(s) for the project. If adding multiple backdrops, all of them can be added now or
later on but be sure to rename your backdrops as appropriate to help keep track of them through the project.
2. Delete the cat sprite that is automatically added to your project and press the choose a sprite button to select a
new sprite. You may wish to add all sprites that will be needed at this time. Remember that each sprite is
programmed separately, so be sure that you have selected the correct sprite before starting to write your code.
3. Your code must always start with an Event block. In this project, you will likely use the “When Green Flag Clicked
block. You will also likely use the When I Receive ()block, in combination with the Broadcast ()block throughout
your code to trigger events to create the appearance of interactions between your sprites.
4. Some key features you may wish to use to set a “starting state” for your sprites include:
a. Use the Switch Backdrop To () block to set your starting backdrop and use the Switch Costume To () block
to set the starting costume for your sprite, if appropriate (more on this below).
b. Go To X () Y () will allow you to set a static position for your sprite. This can be used at the start of a line of
code in order to set a “starting position”
c. The Show and Hide blocks can be used intermittently throughout your code in order to have sprites appear
on screen or become “invisible” until a later time.
d. If you plan on having a sprite rotate at any point in your code, you will also want to set a starting direction
for your sprites using the Point In Direction () block.
Please note that Scratch does not automatically “reset” your sprites when you replay your code, so setting a starting
position, direction, and state of show/hide is often necessary.
5. To make your story more interactive, you may wish to use some of the following features:
a. The Say () For () Seconds block will allow you to create a speech bubble” above a sprite for a certain
amount of time.
b. You can record your own sounds or choose from the ready made sound files in Scratch using the Sound
Editor. Use the Play Sound () Until Done block to play the desired sound clip in full.
c. The Glide () Secs To X () Y () block will allow you to have your sprite glide across the screen to a certain
coordinate. The longer the number of seconds, the slower it will move. This helps create the effect of more
realistic movements.
6. If you are using Scratch’s pre-designed sprites, you can use Costumes to create a more interesting, animated effect
on your characters. If you have designed your own sprites, you will need to create your own costumes using the
Paint Editor.
a. You can use a loop to rotate through all of the sprite costumes. Use a Repeat () block or a Forever block
and, inside of the loop, add a Wait () Seconds block. Set it to anywhere between 0.25 and 0.5 seconds (i.e.,
the shorter the time, the faster the animation will run). A setting of 0.5 seconds makes the animation fairly
realistic, without bei