Leadership Exchange
at ISTELive 22
Edtech Industry
Network Summit
Creative Constructor
Lab Virtual
Edtech Advocacy &
Policy Summit

Computational Thinking for the Creative Mind, K-12

Explore and create
Pre-registration required

Explore and create : BYOD

Monday, June 24, 10:00–11:00 am
Location: 115A

Susan Dias Karnovsky  
Do something you've never done before. Use computational thinking to make up an orignal song (melody and lyrics) in two minutes; learn to beatbox in four minutes; and record it all in six minutes, using Spotify's SOUNDTRAP digital studio. Find out how to teach computational thinking for the creative mind in K-12.

Audience: Curriculum/district specialists, Teachers, Teacher education/higher ed faculty
Skill level: Beginner
Attendee devices: Devices required
Attendee device specification: Smartphone: Windows, Android, iOS
Laptop: Mac, PC
Participant accounts, software and other materials: SoundTrap
Focus: Digital age teaching & learning
Topic: Computer science and computational thinking
Grade level: PK-12
Subject area: Language arts, Music
ISTE Standards: For Students:
Computational Thinker
  • Students break problems into component parts, extract key information, and develop descriptive models to understand complex systems or facilitate problem-solving.
Creative Communicator
  • Students create original works or responsibly repurpose or remix digital resources into new creations.
Global Collaborator
  • Students use digital tools to connect with learners from a variety of backgrounds and cultures, engaging with them in ways that broaden mutual understanding and learning.
Additional detail: Student presentation

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

The purpose of this PLAYbyPLAY session is to introduce a workable Computational Thinking curriculum for the Creative Mind which can be taught as a separate course, before coding and programming, starting K-5.

It is important to recognise that CT is a natural thinking process which can (and should be) be introduced before coding and programming. It has been called the "Fifth C" Perhaps it is actually and sinmply Critical Thinking. Period.

Using songwriting (lyrics and melodies), basic beatboxing and a SOUNDTRAP digital music studio, teachers and students rapidly discover they can use CT's four phases to create songs fast and logically. The "fancy" terminology for the phases (Decomposition, Patterns, Abstraction and Algorithms) are gradiently introduced as students USE the phases to create their original lyrics and melodies (in two minutes!) and their musical arrangements for their songs (in 5 -10 minutes).

SOUNDTRAP is a "garage band" --a collaborative digital sound studio that can be used across platforms. See the attachedURL

PLAY by PLAY is a series of scaffolded computational thinking activites that use images from your imagination or images and information you research and collect about a topic. You apply the phases of CT to these images in order to create a full song (melody and lyrics in a pattern). Samples and easy graphic charts are available on PLAY by PLAY's website.

Visit ODOSOUND and hear what students have to say about sel-learning with SoundTrap and setting their words to music they create. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8B9qpABw4qk


Pre-Session: (7 minutes)
Participants can arrive with their accounts made, and Taylor can spend a few minutes pre-session helping troubleshoot any account problems.

Intro: (4 minutes for SDK and 4 minutes for Taylor):
SDK asks for a suggestion of a Lesson Plan for 1st grade and demonstrates how to make up a song using CT and the first CT Sohng Exercise.
SDK gets another suggestion, and demonstrates making up a short original song using CT Exercise #2.
Taylor demonstrates beatboxing and records his pattern of sounds on to Soundtrack and adds two more tracks from Soundtrap's files.
SDK then uses CT to create new lyrics and a new melody with Soundtrack playing along this time.
NOTE; The Four parts of CT are clearly displayed for each phase of the songs SDK and Taylor are demonstrating, so that participants are now genned in as to how to use the four phaes of CT to make up lyrics and melodies.

Icebreaker/Warmups: 10 minutes
Sound Pass Circle
Circle a Song ( Participants drill the first of three CT song exercises)
Mambo Mingle ( Participants pair up) and practice creatig lyrics using the first CT exercise in pairs.
Taylor uses SOUNDTRAP tracks to support the songs which
Participants volunteer to make (optional)

BeatBoxing (10 minutes)
SDK and Taylor teach participants how to make beatbox patterns (B,K, Tss) using Computationl Thinking.
Taylor shows participants how to record and loop their beatbox sounds on SoundTrap.
Taylor shows them how to add a music track from SoundTrap's files
Participants volunteer to make up a song over the tracks they[ve recorded on SoundTrap (optional)

Group Brainstorm (10 minutes): Participants in groups of 2 -4 choose a STEM subject's lesson plan or a current topic or current event. They pair up and using handouts, they create (and write lyrics for an AABA (pattern of a pop song.

Project #2: (10 minutes) Participants (in groups of 2 or 4) perform their original song (lyrics and melody,or hip-hop) over the beatbox and music tracks they've recorded on Soundtrap.

Closing/ Reflection (10 minutes) Taylor and I ask participants to share their experience. Answer questions. Ensure everyone has access to a wide array of resources

Supporting research

The 5th C of 21st Century Skills? Try Computational Thinking
by Suchi Grover

https://www.edutopia.org/article/computational-thinking-kindergartners by Robin Ricketts

More [+]


Susan Dias Karnovsky, edtech Digest

I teach computational thinking in such a way that K-5 not only remember the information, it becomes a part of their thinking process. I can show you how to do this - and you'll learn how to make up a song - in less than 2 minutes. I’ve written for licensed characters at Jim Henson’s Muppets and for Sesame Street, where I was on staff. I’ve taught songwriting workshops at Berklee School of Music and other schools. Now I work at Creative Action and ODO Sound in Austin,TX. I’m also a contributing editor at edtech Digest. playbyplayonline@gmail.com susankarnovsky@gmail.com

People also viewed

Managing STE(A)M Labs: A Station Rotation Model
School Administrators: Modeling Effective Technology Leadership
Tech Integration to Elevate Critical Thinking, Creativity, Problem Solving, Depth and Complexity