Lesson 24: The Design Process


Over the course of four lessons, students will be building up to programming a project of their own design using either Sprite Lab or Artist as their programming environment. In this portion of the project, students will learn about the design process and how to implement it in their own projects. The lesson guide for all four stages of the process can be found in the first stage of this project process here.


Students may be ready to jump straight into building their projects, but this lesson will help shape their ideas into plans. This structure will keep the dreamers grounded and illuminate a path for those feeling left in the dark.


Day 2 - The Design Process (45 min)

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Students will be able to:

  • Shape ideas into reasonable goals and plans.
  • Recognize any potential obstacles such as time constraints or bugs.


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Teaching Guide

Day 2 - The Design Process (45 min)

Define and Prepare

Students will come up with a project and plan their strategy for programming that project in a single day. Students should have a project sketch and a description by the time the day is done.

Preparing Students for the Process:

The most important responsibility you have in kicking off this segment is to help your class understand the scope of this project. Students should be clear about the various expectations over the coming weeks so that they can prepare for their presentations appropriately.

To help your class manage this multi-stage undertaking, they should be given both the Final Project Design - Worksheet and the CS Fundamentals Final Project - Rubric on the first day of planning. Students will then be able to follow the rubric each step of the way to predict what their project grade will be in the end.

The Final Project Design - Worksheet will provide a place for students to capture relevant thoughts and processes as they go, so they are more prepared for their presentations in the end.

As the teacher, you should decide which elements of these documents are important to you and be sure to edit or remove anything that you do not intend to draw student focus.

Lesson Tip

Save 5 minutes or so at the end of the day to have students trade their Final Project Design - Worksheet to look at each other’s work. This will help make sure that nothing is omitted or overlooked.

Define and Prepare:

Now that the class has their Final Project Design - Worksheet in hand, they should start filling out the questions under Day 1.

Students will likely need to refer back to their notes from playing with the example projects, especially if they don’t have access to online Artist or Play Lab project levels while they plan.

Students should focus on defining and planning their project during Day 1, and not cross over into building until their ideas have been written up and/or drawn out.

If students get stuck, help them work through ideas by asking questions and recalling examples, rather than offering solutions.

Standards Alignment

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CSTA K-12 Computer Science Standards (2017)

AP - Algorithms & Programming
  • 1B-AP-11 - Decompose (break down) problems into smaller, manageable subproblems to facilitate the program development process.
  • 1B-AP-12 - Modify, remix or incorporate portions of an existing program into one's own work, to develop something new or add more advanced features.
  • 1B-AP-13 - Use an iterative process to plan the development of a program by including others' perspectives and considering user preferences.
  • 1B-AP-14 - Observe intellectual property rights and give appropriate attribution when creating or remixing programs.

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
  • 4.L.6 - Acquire and use accurately grade-appropriate general academic and domain-specific words and phrases, including those that signal precise actions, emotions, or states of being (e.g., quizzed, whined, stammered) and that are basic to a particular topic (e.g
SL - Speaking & Listening
  • 4.SL.1 - Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 4 topics and texts, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.
  • 4.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.
  • 4.SL.4 - Report on a topic or text, tell a story, or recount an experience in an organized manner, using appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details to support main ideas or themes; speak clearly at an understandable pace.
  • 4.SL.6 - Differentiate between contexts that call for formal English (e.g., presenting ideas) and situations where informal discourse is appropriate (e.g., small-group discussion); use formal English when appropriate to task and situation.
W - Writing
  • 4.W.6 - With some guidance and support from adults, use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing as well as to interact and collaborate with others; demonstrate sufficient command of keyboarding skills to type a minimum of one page in a

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.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
NBT - Number And Operations In Base Ten
  • 4.NBT.4 - Fluently add and subtract multi-digit whole numbers using the standard algorithm.
  • 4.NBT.5 - Multiply a whole number of up to four digits by a one-digit whole number, and multiply two two-digit numbers, using strategies based on place value and the properties of operations. Illustrate and explain the calculation by using equations, rectangular ar

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.
  • 3-5-ETS1-2 - Generate and compare multiple possible solutions to a problem based on how well each is likely to meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.