Coding is now taking the lead in lots of schools around the world; governments, teachers, and families are coming to believe that coding is a skill that kids will need in the future to stand up for the in-demand jobs; a skill which they will need as much as they need to learn reading and writing.
Coding is related to STEAM education, where science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics could help kids learn more about coding through their educational journey.
According to different opinions collected from teachers, it was found that a huge number favorited the idea of teaching kids coding and making it part of the education curriculum, some of them even asked for more subject-specific languages. So, should language arts teach kids to code as well?
Language arts is also known as English Language Arts (ELA) and it is the study and improvement of the arts of language. According to the International Reading Association and the National Council for Teachers of English, the language arts include reading, writing, listening, speaking, viewing, and visual representation.
Coding could be actually used with language arts education because kids love the idea of using codes to create their own animations and interactive stories. Language arts teachers should start enrolling coding in their classes but this should start first with getting them introduced to the world of coding and programming in general; start with asking your students what they know about computer programming and algorithms then go forward with teaching them how to code.
Now you know that coding could be taught through language arts class, but how are they even related to one another? Writing novels and stories is known to be part of learning language arts and that’s exactly what coding is all about, especially if the kids are going to learn to build their own games and apps Games are built on stories so kids could create their games from the common elements needed in both; a story and a game.
This is how coding in language arts starts, it begins from understanding the relation between both then getting deeper into learning to write a story and translating this story into codes. Kids will start with writing down their stories then they will move forward to translating these stories they have written down into games or apps, this will include creating the characters as well as the other elements of the game, but these games should not be as long as the stories they have written down, they will need to narrow it all down to fit into a game, create some obstacles, and finally reaching the point of how to bring players to win or lose.
There are some general skills that people come to learn from coding, such as problem solving, critical thinking, organization, time planning, persistency, decision making, and many others. When you come to relate between coding and language arts, you will realize that both are considered languages with their own vocabulary, and both need some of those skills in order to be handled and solved.
In order to introduce coding in your language arts classroom, you should be creative and do it easily and correctly to let the kids understand the whole thing in the right way. Here are some helpful ideas and tips which you can follow in your classroom:
Coding teaches kids how to collaborate and work with one another in a team and that’s exactly how they are going to do it all in their language arts class. We have already mentioned that English Language Arts class is all about speaking, writing, listening, reading, viewing, and visual representing, so when kids come to work together on a coding project then be asked to explain what they have done, they will come as a team to listen to one another, bring up ideas, and then speak about those ideas.
For the kids to create an application or a game, there are some codes that should come together in order to bring that app or game to life. Kids will be asked to write down the codes which they are going to use in order to build their app or game, which will be fostering their skills both ways: in writing and in coding. As a teacher, you will help kids by asking them to overcome a specific challenge through writing the codes that will solve the problem, or even ask them to write down a solution for a similar real story; this will help kids think about solutions for problems they face and at the same time give them the chance to learn coding and relate it to language arts.
English language education could be easily translated through coding, such as helping the child learn to make specific moves with the robot related to writing alphabet letters. Kids could learn coding through language arts, such as letting the robot move in or draw the shape of a specific letter, code the movements of the robot in order to shape a specific word or even spell a specific name, create a letter map through which the robot could move from one letter to another for letter recognition, let the robot perform specific actions based on a story which the kids have already written before, and many other ideas related to writing stories through the English alphabet letters.
One of the interesting things about coding is that it gives your kids the chance to see the actual scenes they have written down and thought about; its like directing a movie. One of the interesting ways to incorporate coding into language arts classes is by giving kids the space to be creative and write down their stories with the scenes and characters they want, and then give them the chance to create the scenes and give the characters the permission to move. Coding is a new way of storytelling but in this case it gives kids the chance to direct their own stories; writing and translating the moves of the characters through codes.
STEAM has always been related to coding and this means that science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics are all related to coding in one way or another, or could be used to teach kids how to code .English language arts is another school subject that kids could learn coding through and it is actually an interesting one because kids could learn the English alphabet, writing, reading, listening, and even learn how to form a story and write it down and be able to translate it all through codes.
It is always believed that kids learn faster and easier when they are excited about the subject or when they find it interesting, which is exactly the case with coding and English language arts; kids will believe that their stories could be directed and translated into real movies; movements, characters, and scenes and thus will get more excited about the whole thing.
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