Monday, September 08, 2008

Logo- Patterns- Notes for Year 5 School work

On Friday I am working with some teachers on using Logo in Year 5. We are basing the unit on the Newham Scheme of work for Year Year 5 ICT.

I am putting together some helpful notes and links below

What is Logo?

Logo is a computer language created by Seymour Papert- the father of both Control Technology and Primary ICT . He was the first to explore how children could use computers and toys as a learning tool. His early book on this Mindstorms ( a good but challenging read) charts his exploration an research into how children can use logo as a thinking tool, it is also given us the name for the Lego 'Mindstorms'

Why bother teaching Logo?

A number of reasons, first and foremost it makes children think beyond themselves, a skill which children need to develop. They literally have to empathise with or put themselves in the place of the turtle/roamer/beebot as it moves around the screen. This enables them to get the object to its destination.


Secondly Logo can be a challenge to children and when taught with enthusiasm and support, children respond well to the challenges set, such as how can we create a 7 sided shape


A further reason for teaching LOGO is that we are teaching children programming skills, albeit in a very basic format.We are giving the message that a computer needs to be instructed, a message that we have long since lost in our quick click online culture. The games children play and the websites they rely on for connection and entertainment, all need to be coded and programmed in some way.

Logo also links to work within the Numeracy curriculum as children need to think about measure, length and shape, in particular polygons and angles. And while they are focusing on these ares they could also be looking at shape in a problem solving context. This links well with the work in years 3 - 5, see for example:




'Identify and use patterns, relationships and properties of numbers or shapes; investigate a statement involving numbers and test it with examples'


Report solutions to puzzles and problems, giving explanations and reasoning orally and in writing, using diagrams and symbols




'Draw polygons and classify them by identifying their properties, including their line symmetry '


'Visualise 3-D objects from 2-D drawings; make nets of common solids'



What software is available for teaching Logo?


  • Imagine LOGO from Logotron- this is the software used in the Newham unit. This software is very well supported with notes, tutorials, resources and books of activities.


  • MSW LOGO is a free download, with a slightly uninteresting interface, but never the less it is free, it's newer younger brother FMSW LOGO is the recent upgrade and allows you greater functionality.



Using Logo- an introduction


How do I draw a square:

To draw a square you need to send the turtle forward and turn to the right four times. This might look like this:
fd 100 - move forward 100 units
rt 90 turn 90 degrees to the right
fd 100 - move forward 100 units
rt 90 turn 90 degrees to the right
fd 100 - move forward 100 units
rt 90 turn 90 degrees to the right
fd 100 - move forward 100 units
rt 90 turn 90 degrees to the right



What are the main commands in LOGO?

fd- forward - moves the turtle forwards

bk- backward- moves the turtle backwards

rt - right - turns the turtle to the right

lt - left - turns the turtle to the left

pu- lifts up the pen - allowing you to move the turtle on-screen, without drawing a line

pd- puts the pen back onto the screen - allowing you to draw again

ht- hide turtle this hides the turtle- allowing you to just see your creation

st - show turtle- this brings the turtle back

Try this:

Type 'bye' into the enter box and logo will close

setpc- set the colour of the pen- see the list of colours below

setsc- sets the colours of the screen - see the list of colours below


There is a quicker way to draw shapes like the square- the repeat command - the repeat command allows you to speed up the process of commanding the turtle movements by combining instructions

less here is more

To draw a square using repeat type:

repeat 4[ fd 100 rt 90]


Be sure to use the square brackets on the keyboard when typing repeat commands



What about drawing other shapes?




What are the LOGO Colours?

0- black

1- blue

2- green

3- light blue

4 - red

5- purple

6- yellow

7- white

8- dark red

9- brown

10- dark green

11 - turquoise

12- orange

13- lilac

14-light orange

15- dark green


Where can I learn more about LOGO?

Read this interactive book by Michael Koss here