8 Easy & Fun Coding Projects from Our Friends at BrainPOP

Ideas for across the curriculum.

Coding Projects on BrainPOP

More than likely, you’re already familiar with the amazing learning movies from BrainPOP. And if your students are anything like mine, they can’t get enough of the lovable main characters, especially Moby the robot! But did you know that BrainPOP has teamed up with Scratch and Vidcode, and now offers a Creative Coding curriculum to encourage students and teachers to use coding as a way to show what they know? Yep, and it’s chock-full of engaging projects that make it easy to integrate coding into your curriculum, including reading, math, social studies, science, music, and art.

The best part? Even if you’ve never taught or tried coding before, you’ll be able to incorporate it into your lessons. Here’s just a sneak peek at some of our favorites.

The best coding projects for beginners

These projects are best for beginners (elementary students and up). Using block-based coding based on the Scratch visual programming language, they’re a great way to introduce computational-thinking skills that encourage creative expression and experimentation.  

1. Create a sorting game.

Use coding to create a game that challenges players to sort objects by category.

Cross-curricular suggestions:

Sort shapes by properties for a geometry lesson. During science class, sort insects into categories based on physical characteristics. In social studies, divide historical figures that fought for the North and South in the Civil War.

2. Be a storyteller.

Tell a story by creating a conversation between two characters. 

Cross-curricular suggestions:

Create a conversation between two historical figures on different sides of an issue. Engage two characters from a story in a conversation that takes the plot in a different direction. Code two members of an orchestra talking about their instruments.

3. Curate a museum exhibit.

Create a display of items related to a wide variety of topics. Display your items on shelves, in photo frames, or in a scene with an interesting background.

Cross-curricular suggestions:

Display different types of clouds for a weather lesson. Showcase different examples of an art style, such as pointillism. Create a fashion show of Victorian-era outfits.  

4. Code an interactive math problem.

Put a creative twist on traditional word problems by inviting students to program their own versions.

Cross-curricular suggestions:

Create interactive word problems that relate to what you’re studying in social studies or science. Use a word problem to figure out the dimensions of a sewing or painting project in art class.

The best coding projects for kids who want a challenge:

For kids who are ready to dive a little deeper, these projects use Vidcode, a text-based programming tool that invites students to apply programming fundamentals to create projects using JavaScript. The possibilities for students to show what they know are endless!

5. Create a meme.

A meme is a funny picture or video to which someone has added words.

Cross-curricular suggestions:

Students can create a meme of a historical figure with their famous catchphrase or quote. Alternatively, pick a favorite character to remind students of a classroom rule, like honor the learning community.

6. Layer doodles over videos to create augmented reality.

Students bring movies to life by using JavaScript to draw and write over them.

Cross-curricular suggestions:

Create a movie using thought bubbles of how Rosa Parks was really feeling on that bus. Bring a still shot of Louis Armstrong alive by adding a stream of music notes.  

7. Try your hand at stop motion animation.

Stop motion animation is created by putting together a series of still images one frame at a time so they appear to be moving.

Cross-curricular suggestions:

Pull together a collection of images that exemplify a biography subject. Show how a butterfly goes through the stages of its life cycle. Show a timeline of a historic event in 30 seconds.

8. Produce your own newscast.

Select a BrainPOP movie for your background then decide what message you want to show scrolling along the bottom, just like a real newscast!

Cross-curricular suggestions:

Select a movie about a famous historical figure and scroll the highlights of their contribution to society below. Or choose a movie about a math concept and scroll the steps for problem solving below.

Check out all of the BrainPOP Creative Coding projects here.

Posted by Elizabeth Mulvahill

Elizabeth Mulvahill is a passionate teacher, writer and mom who loves learning new things, traveling the globe and everything Zen.

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