Lesson Objective

To learn how to use variables to read input from the keyboard

There is more than one way to do this

The approach shown in this lesson is only one way to read keyboard input in Go. There are two alternative approaches. At this stage no approach is perfect for two reasons.

Firstly until error handling is introduced no approach will be robust and reliable. Error handling requires the use of selection which the pupils have not been introduced to at this stage.

Secondly, any approach requires introducing the pupils to concepts beyond the core idea of input that we are trying to teach. Either, further ideas about the logical structure of memory or more advanced types and their use.

We do not want to introduce any of these ideas at this stage.

We have therefore taken an alternative approach. The lesson focus on the concept of input and how input and variables are used together. To achieve this we have provided a package, the simpleio package that the pupils can use to read numbers and strings. We will show the pupils how to use the package. We will not explain how the package works.

Success Criteria

  • I know what input and output are
  • I know a pattern to read input from the keyboard
  • I know how assign input to a variable
  • I know how to use keyboard input in Go programs

Key Vocabulary

  • variable
  • input
  • output
  • package
  • 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.

Input itself is an abstract concept. The most direct analogy would be to cooking. The ingredients used to create a meal are analogous to the input that a program needs to run.

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.

The simpleio package needs to be downloaded and installed on the pupils computers. This will require network access, specifically to github.com

The simpleio package contains the additional source code we have written to simplify the process of keyboard input for the pupils.

This task can be performed by an IT coordinator beforehand, or by the pupils themselves in the lesson.

Prerequisites

Lessons 1-6

Starter Activity

Ask the pupils if they ran the hellofriend program again, what would happen? Ask the pupils what would happen if they ran the program 10 times in a row. Would the output change? Does the hellofriend program know everything before it runs? Can the pupils work out what would be required to make the program print a different names each time?

Main teaching points

  • Input from keyboard and Output to screen
  • The keyboard input pattern
  • How to use the keyboard input pattern to assign a value to a variable
  • Explain how to get the simpleio package
  • Explain the hellostranger program.

For High Achievers

The pupils should understand input and output and be able to give examples of each.

The pupils should be able to recognise the keyboard input pattern.

The pupils should be able to use the keyboard input pattern to store both strings and numbers entered at the keyboard, largely without support.

The pupils should be able to run the hellostranger program, largely without support.

For Middle Achievers

The pupils should understand input and output and be able to give examples of each.

The pupils should be able to recognise the keyboard input pattern.

The pupils should be able to use the keyboard input pattern to store both strings and numbers entered at the keyboard, with support.

The pupils should be able to run the hellostranger program, with support.

For Low Achievers

The pupils should understand input and output and be able to give examples of each.

The pupils should be able to recognise the keyboard input pattern.

The pupils should be able to use the keyboard input pattern to store both strings and numbers entered at the keyboard, with considerable support.

The pupils should be able to run the hellostranger program, with considerable support.

Plenary

Ask the pupils to type in a number instead of their name. What happens? Is this correct? Now ask them to type in a word for their age. What happens? Is this correct? Can they guess why this happens?

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