I’ve been working on my lesson plans for this year and one thing I always struggle with is creating projects. Oh I have lots in my tool box but I am always looking for something new and more interesting. In many ways the hardest to create are the ones that are easiest for students to create. Let me put it this way – what sort of project can you design using nothing more than assignment statements? And make it fun and interesting for students?
Not easy is it? There is of course the traditional Hello World program. Yawn. And of course conversion programs. Fahrenheit to centigrade obviously. Last year I was introduced to the Red/Green program. This works very well in Visual Basic or C# where one can easily create buttons on the form and have one button change the color of the form to Red while the other changes it to green. Students actually have some fun when you say “now create more buttons for more colors.”
We’ve also used a program where an image is loaded into one picture box and pressing a button causes it to “move” from one box to another. This has a great feature that lets it be built up and made cooler as more programming features are learned (See this rotating lights project for example) I like projects that can be built upon for later use.
I’m always looking for more ideas though. What do you use for the first or second program?