Lesson 7: Loops in Ice Age


As a quick update (or introduction) to using loops, this stage will have students using the repeat block to get Scrat to the acorn more efficiently.


In this lesson, students will be learning more about loops and how to implement them in Blockly code. Using loops is an important skill in programming because manually repeating commands is tedious and inefficient. With these Code.org puzzles, students will learn to add instructions to existing loops, gather repeated code into loops, and recognize patterns that need to be repeated.


Warm Up - The Unplugged Foundation (10 min)

Online Foundation: Preview Loops in Ice Age

Main Activity (30 min)

Wrap Up (5 - 10 min)

Extended Learning

View on Code Studio


Students will be able to:

  • Construct a program using structures that repeat areas of code
  • Improve existing code by finding areas of repetition and moving them into looping structures


  • (Optional) Pick a couple of puzzles to do as a group with your class.
  • Make sure each student has a journal.


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

For the Students


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


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Teaching Guide

Warm Up - The Unplugged Foundation (10 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.

Say: Today we're going to work on finding ways to make giving lots of instructions easier, especially when those instructions repeat themselves a lot.

Online Foundation: Preview Loops in Ice Age

To finish the connection, preview an online puzzle (or two) as a class.

Model: Reveal an entire online puzzle from the progression to come. We recommend Puzzle 5. Point out the "Play Area" with Scrat and the acorn, as well as the "Work Space" with the Blockly code. Explain that this Blockly code is now the language that the class will be using to help Scrat get to the acorn. Do students see any similarities to the exercise that they just did? What are the big differences?

Work with your class to drag code into the workspace in such a way that Scrat (eventually) gets to the acorn.

Transition: Students should now be ready to transition to computers to complete online puzzles on their own.

Main Activity (30 min)

Online Puzzles

As students work through the puzzles, see if they can figure out how many blocks they use with a loop vs. without a loop.

Teacher Tip:

Show the students the right way to help classmates by:

  • Don’t sit in the classmate’s chair
  • Don’t use the classmate’s keyboard
  • Don’t touch the classmate’s mouse
  • Make sure the classmate can describe the solution to you out loud before you walk away

Circulate: Teachers play a vital role in computer science education and supporting a collaborative and vibrant classroom environment. During online activities, the role of the teacher is primarily one of encouragement and support. Online lessons are meant to be student-centered, so teachers should avoid stepping in when students get stuck. Some ideas on how to do this are:

  • Utilize Pair Programming - Student Video whenever possible
  • Encourage students with questions/challenges to start by asking their partner
  • Unanswered questions can be escalated to a nearby group, who might already know the solution
  • Remind students to use the debugging process before you approach
  • Have students describe the problem that they’re seeing. What is it supposed to do? What does it do? What does that tell you?
  • Remind frustrated students that frustration is a step on the path to learning, and that persistence will pay off.
  • If a student is still stuck after all of this, ask leading questions to get the student to spot an error on their own.

Wrap Up (5 - 10 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?
  • Draw one of the Feeling Faces - Emotion Images that shows how you felt about today's lesson in the corner of your journal page.
  • Draw your own maze with Scrat trying to get to an Acorn. Will loops help you solve it?
  • Draw yourself using a loop to do an everyday activity, like brushing your teeth.

Extended Learning

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!
  • Practice
  • 1
  • 2
  • (click tabs to see student view)
View on Code Studio

Student Instructions

Help Scrat across the slippery ice to get to the acorn!

View on Code Studio

Student Instructions

Use a turn left block to get to the acorn!

  • Using the Repeat Block
  • 3
  • (click tabs to see student view)
View on Code Studio

Student Instructions

Can you get to the acorn with just one move forward block? Try using a loop!

View on Code Studio

Student Instructions

Add one more block to get Scrat all the way to the acorn!

View on Code Studio

Student Instructions

Can you add a loop to get to the acorn?

View on Code Studio

Student Instructions

Scrat really wants that acorn!

View on Code Studio

Student Instructions

Can you fix this code?

View on Code Studio

Student Instructions

The acorn is so far away! Can you use loops to help Scrat get there?

  • Challenge
  • 10
  • (click tabs to see student view)
View on Code Studio

Student Instructions

Help Scrat get all the way over to the acorn!

  • Practice
  • 11
  • 12
  • (click tabs to see student view)
View on Code Studio

Student Instructions

Help Scrat get to the acorn!

View on Code Studio

Student Instructions

Get to the acorn any way you can!

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
  • 1.L.6 - Use words and phrases acquired through conversations, reading and being read to, and responding to texts, including using frequently occurring conjunctions to signal simple relationships (e.g., because).
SL - Speaking & Listening
  • 1.SL.1 - Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about grade 1 topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups.
  • 1.SL.1.a - Follow agreed-upon rules for discussions (e.g., listening to others with care, speaking one at a time about the topics and texts under discussion).
  • 1.SL.1.b - Build on others’ talk in conversations by responding to the comments of others through multiple exchanges.
  • 1.SL.1.c - Ask questions to clear up any confusion about the topics and texts under discussion.

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
OA - Operations And Algebraic Thinking
  • 1.OA.1 - Use addition and subtraction within 20 to solve word problems involving situations of adding to, taking from, putting together, taking apart, and comparing, with unknowns in all positions, e.g., by using objects, drawings, and equations with a symbol for

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.