Lesson 7: Getting Loopy


As we start to write longer and more interesting programs, our code often contains a lot of repetition. In this lesson, students will learn about how loops can be used to more easily communicate instructions that have a lot of repetition by looking at the repeated patterns of movement in a dance.


At this point in the course, students should have developed comfort with programming a set of linear instructions. Frequently the linear set of instructions includes patterns that are repeated multiple times and as students want to write more complex and interesting programs, manually duplicating that code becomes cumbersome and inefficient. To enable students to write more powerful programs, we'll need to rely on structures that break out of the that single linear list. Loops allow for students to structure their code in a way that repeats. In this lesson, we will focus on identifying patterns in physical movement before moving back onto the computer to look for patterns in our code.


Warm Up (5 min)

Main Activity (15 min)

Assessment (10 min)

Wrap-Up (15 min)

Extended Learning

View on Code Studio


Students will be able to:

  • Repeat actions initiated by the instructor.
  • Translate a picture program into a real-world dance.
  • Convert a series of multiple actions into a single loop.



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

For the Teachers

For the Students


  • Loop - The action of doing something over and over again.
  • Repeat - To do something again.


Report a Bug

Teaching Guide

Warm Up (5 min)

Repeat After Me

Model: Ask for a volunteer and have them stand.

  • Instruct your volunteer to walk around the table (or their chair, or a friend).
  • When they finish, instruct them to do it again, using the exact same words you did before.
  • When they finish, instruct again.
  • Then again.

Prompt: Would it have been easier for me to just ask you to go around the table four times?

Think: What if I wanted you to do it ten times? How would you reword my instructions so that they were more efficient and I didn't have to repeat myself so much? Feel free to write your instructions down on a piece of scrap paper.

Share: Ask a few students to share their instructions with the class, pointing out how each approach has simplified the overall approach to giving instructions.


Today we're going to work on finding ways to make giving lots of instructions easier, especially when those instructions repeat themselves a lot. This will be really useful when we go back to the computers and have to write lots of instructions in our programs.

Main Activity (15 min)

Dance Party

Lesson Tip:

Looking for some good music? Here are some great places to find some:

Please be advised that some of these stations may display ads with third-party content. If you find that displayed ads are inappropriate, you may want to direct students to a different site, or research ad-blockers that can prevent this content.

Say: Introduce the main activity by letting the class know that we will be having a dance party. In order to have that party, we'll need to know what all of the steps in the dance are, and how many times we should do them.

Display: Show the Getting Loopy - Worksheet so that all students can see it. Talk through the different sections of the dance as a class. Point out the section that repeats, in particular.

Model: Show the class what the entire dance looks like done at full-speed. Then run through the dance slowly, asking a different student to call out each line of instructions. Next, have the students perform the dance along with you, saying the instructions aloud as they get to each move.

Prompt: Ask students to work with a neighbor to find all of the sections of the dance that repeat.

Share: Ask a few students to share the repeating patterns that they found. As a class, talk through how you might rework the instructions to be even shorter by repeating those patterns.

Finally, help them understand a symbology for capturing these loops on their picture program, since the assessment will utilize this same method. Here is an example:

Assessment (10 min)

Ending with an assessment sheet will help solidify this lesson for your students.

Distribute: Hand out the Getting Loopy - Assessment to each student. Allow students to complete the activity independently after the instructions have been well explained. This should feel familiar, thanks to the previous activities.

Wrap-Up (15 min)


Display: Present the vocab for this lesson, loop. Ask the class to point out the main loop that was in the dance. Why do you think we call it a loop?

Flash Chat: What did we learn?

  • Do you think it is easier to add more pictures to the screen or change the number of times we loop?
    • Would your answer be the same if we wanted to loop 100 times?
  • Could we use these same loops with different dance moves?
  • Do you know any dances that are done inside a loop?
  • What was your favorite part about that activity?


Having students write or draw 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?
  • Draw a picture of you dancing today. Draw the loops that you did, like clapping three times.
  • What else can you use a loop for?

Extended Learning

Use these activities to enhance student learning. They can be used as outside of class activities or other enrichment.

So Moving

  • Give the students pictures of actions or dance moves that they can do.
  • Have students arrange moves and add loops to choreograph their own dance.
  • Share the dances with the rest of the class.

Connect It Back

  • Find some YouTube videos of popular dances that repeat themselves.
  • Can your class find the loops?
  • Try the same thing with songs!
  • Levels
  • 1
  • 2
  • (click tabs to see student view)
View on Code Studio

Student Instructions

View on Code Studio

Student Instructions

Standards Alignment

View full course alignment

CSTA K-12 Computer Science Standards (2017)

AP - Algorithms & Programming
  • 1A-AP-09 - Model the way programs store and manipulate data by using numbers or other symbols to represent information.
  • 1A-AP-10 - Develop programs with sequences and simple loops, to express ideas or address a problem.
  • 1A-AP-11 - Decompose (break down) the steps needed to solve a problem into a precise sequence of instructions.
  • 1A-AP-14 - Debug (identify and fix) errors in an algorithm or program that includes sequences and simple loops.

Cross-curricular Opportunities

This list represents opportunities in this lesson to support standards in other content areas.

Common Core English Language Arts Standards

L - Language
  • 2.L.6 - Use words and phrases acquired through conversations, reading and being read to, and responding to texts, including using adjectives and adverbs to describe (e.g., When other kids are happy that makes me happy).
SL - Speaking & Listening
  • 2.SL.1 - Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about grade 2 topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups.
  • 2.SL.6 - Produce complete sentences when appropriate to task and situation in order to provide requested detail or clarification.

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.5 - Use appropriate tools strategically
  • 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
  • 2.OA.1 - Use addition and subtraction within 100 to solve one- and two-step word problems involving situations of adding to, taking from, putting together, taking apart, and comparing, with unknowns in all positions, e.g., by using drawings and equations with a sy

Next Generation Science Standards

ETS - Engineering in the Sciences
ETS1 - Engineering Design
  • K-2-ETS1-1 - Ask questions, make observations, and gather information about a situation people want to change to define a simple problem that can be solved through the development of a new or improved object or tool.
  • K-2-ETS1-2 - Develop a simple sketch, drawing, or physical model to illustrate how the shape of an object helps it function as needed to solve a given problem.
  • K-2-ETS1-3 - Analyze data from tests of two objects designed to solve the same problem to compare the strengths and weaknesses of how each performs.