Lesson 19: For Loops in Bee

For Loop | Bee


Featuring Bee, this lesson focuses on for loops and using an incrementing variable to solve more complicated puzzles. Students will begin by reviewing loops from previous lessons, then they'll walk through an introduction to for loops so they can more effectively solve complicated problems.


Today's concept, for loops, are a very important topic in computer science. Not only are they widely used, the process of learning for loops enhances the learning of other important concepts (such as variables and parameters.) Students will have plenty of practice critically thinking through problems by determining the starting, ending, and stepping values for each for loop. This concept uses plenty of math as well, so feel free to pair it with a math lesson for an even deeper learning experience.


Warm Up (15 min)

Bridging Activity - For Loops (15 min)

Main Activity (30 min)

Wrap Up (15 min)


Students will be able to:

  • Determine starting value, stopping value, and stepping value for a `for` loop.
  • Recognize when to use a `for` loop and when to use other loops such as `repeat` and `while` loops.



Heads Up! Please make a copy of any documents you plan to share with students.

For the Teacher

For the Students


  • For Loop - Loops that have a predetermined beginning, end, and increment (step interval).


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Teaching Guide

Warm Up (15 min)


Remind students of the work they did in "For Loop Fun". Open a discussion about what they learned, why they think it might be useful, and if they had any fun. Here are some discussion starters.

  • What did you learn in "For Loop Fun"?
  • What are the three main components of a for loop?
    • starting value, step interval, ending value
  • Why do you think a for loop might be helpful in programming?
    • Many students might not know an answer to this. Let them hypothesize, but don't dwell on this question for too long.
  • Did you have fun learning about for loops? Why or why not?
  • Are you excited to use for loops in online puzzles?

Bridging Activity - For Loops (15 min)

This activity will help bring the unplugged concepts from "For Loop Fun" into the online world that the students are moving into. Choose one of the following to do with your class:

Unplugged Activity Using Paper Blocks

Split up the students of your class into pairs. Ideally have the pairs be the same from when your class did "For Loop Fun". Print out a for loop from Unplugged Blockly Blocks (Grades 2 - 5) - Manipulatives for each pair of students. Pass out one die to each pair. Have the partners take turns rolling the die to obtain the following values:

  • One roll for the starting value
  • Four rolls for the ending value
  • One roll for the step value

Have each pair fill in the for loop with the appropriate values in the correct spot.

Using a basic number line, like the one used in "For Loop Fun", have the students mark the beginning, ending, and middle values that this for loop will touch. When everyone is done, see who got the most points by totaling the starting, middle, and ending numbers of each pair.

Previewing Online Puzzles as a Class

Display a puzzle from the Course F Online Puzzles - Website associated with this lesson. We recommend puzzle #4 because it displays a potential solution and asks the user to evaluate it.

Using a number line similar to the ones used in "For Loop Fun", mark the start and ending values of the given for loop (if you aren't using puzzle #4, you will need to come up with a potential solution first). With the class's help, circle the values between the start and end that the for loop will touch. If you are working on puzzle #4, ask the class what they think the answer is to the question, given what they found with the number line.

Main Activity (30 min)

Course F Online Puzzles - Website

Some students may have a hard time differentiating between repeat loops and for loops. We recommend having scratch paper out for students to make guesses on values like the start, stop, and step. Implementing pair programming amongst the class might also be helpful for your students.

Wrap Up (15 min)


Having students write about what they learned, why it’s useful, and how they feel about it can help solidify any knowledge they obtained today and build a review sheet for them to look to in the future.

Journal Prompts:

  • What was today’s lesson about?
  • How did you feel during today’s lesson?
  • How is a for loop different from a repeat loop?
  • Why do you think for loops could be useful?

Standards Alignment

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Common Core English Language Arts Standards

L - Language
  • 5.L.6 - Acquire and use accurately grade-appropriate general academic and domain-specific words and phrases, including those that signal contrast, addition, and other logical relationships (e.g., however, although, nevertheless, similarly, moreover, in addition).
SL - Speaking & Listening
  • 5.SL.1 - Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 5 topics and texts, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.
  • 5.SL.1.a - Come to discussions prepared, having read or studied required material; explicitly draw on that preparation and other information known about the topic to explore ideas under discussion.
  • 5.SL.4 - Report on a topic or text or present an opinion, sequencing ideas logically and using appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details to support main ideas or themes; speak clearly at an understandable pace.
  • 5.SL.6 - Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and tasks, using formal English when appropriate to task and situation.

Common Core Math Standards

MP - Math Practices
  • MP.1 - Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them
  • MP.2 - Reason abstractly and quantitatively
  • MP.4 - Model with mathematics
  • MP.6 - Attend to precision
  • MP.7 - Look for and make use of structure
  • MP.8 - Look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning
OA - Operations And Algebraic Thinking
  • 5.OA.3 - Generate two numerical patterns using two given rules. Identify apparent relationships between corresponding terms. Form ordered pairs consisting of corresponding terms from the two patterns, and graph the ordered pairs on a coordinate plane. For example,

CSTA K-12 Computer Science Standards

AP - Algorithms & Programming
  • 1B-AP-09 - Create programs that use variables to store and modify data.
  • 1B-AP-11 - Decompose (break down) problems into smaller, manageable subproblems to facilitate the program development process.

Next Generation Science Standards

ETS - Engineering in the Sciences
ETS1 - Engineering Design
  • 3-5-ETS1-1 - Define a simple design problem reflecting a need or a want that includes specified criteria for success and constraints on materials, time, or cost.