Lesson Objective

To practice using the patterns for integer and string type variables in Go.

Success Criteria

  • I know the patterns to create and use a variable
  • I can spot mistakes involving variables
  • I can use variables for numbers and strings in Go programs
  • I can create a new Go program from just the expected output

Key Vocabulary

  • variable
  • type
  • keyword
  • var
  • syntax error
  • variable declaration
  • variable assignment

Period of Study

KS2 Emerging

Co2/1.1 design, write and debug programs that accomplish specific goals, including controlling or simulating physical systems; solve problems by decomposing them into smaller parts

Co2/1.2 use sequence, selection, and repetition in programs; work with variables and various forms of input and output

Co2/1.3 use logical reasoning to explain how some simple algorithms work and to detect and correct errors in algorithms and programs

Maths - The concept of a variable in a programming language is analogous to an unknown quantity or variable in algebra

Science - the plenary example calculates the distance between two stars in light years. An example of the type of real calculation that a computer is used for in astronomy.

SMSC

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Resources/Homework

The pupils will need to have Go installed on the school computers. They will also need a text editor installed. For Windows/MacOS X and Linux they should install Atom. For RaspberryPi they should install liteIDE. See the install guides on the website for more details.

Prerequisites

None - knowledge of algebra is not essential. Lessons 1-5

Starter Activity

Ask the pupils what var is in Go? What is it used for? Can the pupils remember the three things you need for a variable? What is the name of the type used for a number? What about a string?

Main teaching points

  • Recap the variable declaration pattern
  • Recap of the naming rules
  • Recap the variable assignment pattern
  • Explain that the pupils need to fix the badvariable program
  • Explain the hellome programming task
  • Explain the hellofriends programming task

For High Achievers

The pupils should understand that variables are introduced using the var keyword.

The pupils should understand that variables have a type, that tells the computer what sort of data the variable can store.

The pupils should understand that variables have a name.

The pupils should understand the rules for variable names, largely without support.

The pupils should recognise the pattern for variable declaration, largely without support.

The pupils should recognise the pattern for variable assignment, largely without support.

The pupils should be able to open a terminal window, largely without support.

The pupils should be able to open the text editor, create a source code file and save it, largely without support.

The pupils should be able to find the errors and fix the babvariable program, largely without support.

The pupils should be able to create the hellome program, largely without support.

The pupils should be abel to change the hellome program to the hellofriend program, largely without support.

For Middle Achievers

The pupils should understand that variables are introduced using the var keyword.

The pupils should understand that variables have a type, that tells the computer what sort of data the variable can store.

The pupils should understand that variables have a name.

The pupils should understand the rules for variable names, largely without support.

The pupils should recognise the pattern for variable declaration, largely without support.

The pupils should recognise the pattern for variable assignment, largely without support.

The pupils should be able to open a terminal window, largely without support.

The pupils should be able to open the text editor, create a source code file and save it, largely without support.

The pupils should be able to find the errors and fix the babvariable program, with support.

The pupils should be able to create the hellome program, with support.

The pupils should be able to change the hellome program to the hellofriend program, with support.

For Low Achievers

The pupils should understand that variables are introduced using the var keyword.

The pupils should understand that variables have a type, that tells the computer what sort of data the variable can store.

The pupils should understand that variables have a name.

The pupils should understand the rules for variable names, with support.

The pupils should recognise the pattern for variable declaration, with support.

The pupils should recognise the pattern for variable assignment, with support.

The pupils should be able to open a terminal window, with support.

The pupils should be able to open the text editor, create a source code file and save it, with support.

The pupils should be able to find the errors and fix the babvariable program, with considerable support.

The pupils should be able to create the hellome program, with considerable support.

The pupils should be able to change the hellome program to the hellofriend program, with considerable support.

Plenary

What does this do?

var distance_to_Van_Maanens_Star int
var distance_to_Alpha_Centauri int
var distance_from_Alpha_Centauri_to_Van_Maanens_Star int

distance_to_Van_Maanens_Star = 12
distance_to_Alpha_Centauri = 4

distance_from_Alpha_Centauri_to_Van_Maanens_Star = distance_to_Van_Maanens_Star - distance_to_Alpha_Centauri

fmt.Print("The distance between Alpha Centauri and Van Maanens Start is ")
fmt.Print(distance_from_Alpha_Centauri_to_Van_Maanens_Star)
fmt.Println(" light years. This is a very long way away!")

One light year is about 9 trillion kilometers. The answer is 8 light years - 72 trillion kilometers

[You may need to explain a light year… and the distance are approximate; rounded down to the nearest light year.]

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