Lesson Objective

To introduce variables for integers and strings in Go.

More Teaching Time Required

Variables come in two parts that cannot be separated. They are the variable declaration and the variable assignment. These come as a pair and are very closely related. Twice the teaching time may be required for this lesson.

A variable has to be declared before a value can be assigned to it, and before it can be used. In Go, a program that declares a variable, but does not use it is actually illegal. Such a program will not run. The concepts cannot therefore be split over two lessons.

Success Criteria

  • I understand what a variable is used for
  • I understand that variables have a type
  • I know how to create and use a variable
  • I know the patterns to create and use a variable
  • I can use variables for numbers and strings in a Go program

Key Vocabulary

  • variable
  • type
  • keyword
  • var
  • memory
  • file
  • declaration
  • 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

SMSC

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 1-4

Starter Activity

Ask the students what happens if the computer is switched off? * Is there anything in memory? * What about when a program ends?

Ask the students how many types of memory a computer might have?

Can the pupils explain the life time of the data in each memory type?

Main teaching points

  • Variables are used to remember results or input in a computer program so that they can be used later
  • Variables need the var keyword
  • Variables are introduced with the var keyword
  • Variables have a name and a type.
  • The variable name must be legal
  • Variables follow two patterns. The first to create a variable - declaration. The second to assign a value to the variable - assignment.
  • Explain the program task and ask the pupils to type in and run the program.

For High Achievers

The pupils should know that variables are used to remember results or input in a computer program.

The pupils should know that the variables are stored in memory and that the variables only exist while the program runs. Once the program stops or the computer is turned off the variables do not exist. The variables also do not exist before the program starts.

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 type in the hellobob program and run it successfully largely without support.

For Middle Achievers

The pupils should know that variables are used to remember results or input in a computer program.

The pupils should know that the variables are stored in memory and that the variables only exist while the program runs. Once the program stops or the computer is turned off the variables do not exist. The variables also do not exist before the program starts.

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, 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 type in the hellobob program and run it successfully with support.

For Low Achievers

The pupils should know that variables are used to remember results or input in a computer program.

The pupils should know that the variables are stored in memory and that the variables only exist while the program runs.

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, with support

The pupils should understand that variables have a name, with support

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

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

The pupils should recognise the pattern for variable assignment, with considerable 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 type in the hellobob program and run it successfully with considerable support.

Plenary

How many things does a variable need to exist?

What are those things?

Ask the pupils how many keywords they can find in the hellobob program? You will need to show them the list of keywords again to do this.

What do they think the value of z is at each line

var z int
z = 100

Can they guess that variables have a default, Go calls this an empty, value?

Search

Featured Lesson

Start here...

Hello and welcome

Hello and welcome to GopherCoders.com.

Do you want to learn to program a computer? If you answered YES you have come to the right website. Follow along with us and let us introduce you to the world of computer programming.