Turtle Art student guide

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Intro for teachers: These two guides are intended for students with a basic familiarity with the xo laptop, thus, it will not explain basic computer operation, such as launching the activity or saving a file. Additionally, this guide (and the Turtle Art activity) are designed for students with no computer programming experience.


You can download an illustrated 11 page Turtle Art tutorial for students. It was prepared by Jenny Watt of lifetime2learn.com). Tasks include: drawing letters, drawing your name, drawing repeating patterns.

Turtle Art is a fun activity in which you learn how command a little robotic turtle to draw pictures and designs for you. It isn't very hard and you can figure a lot of it out on your own, but this guide will help you to get started. Follow this guide until you get the basic idea, and set the guide aside and see what you can make the turtle do. When you get stuck or run out of ideas for new things to make the turtle do, come back and use the guide to learn more. By the way, getting the turtle to do tricks is fun, but it is also very similar to the way you program a computer, so after you finish figuring out how to get really tricky with your turtle, you'll be on your way to learning how to make your xo laptop do all sorts of things!

So, let's get started....

When you start Turtle Art, you should see the turtle and box called __ on the left hand side of the screen. Hit the + sign on the box to make it bigger. All the funny shaped things in this box are orders you can give to the turtle. Drag the one called 'forward' out on to a blank part of the screen. Now click it and see what happens (if nothing happens, click it again).

See, the turtle followed your orders. But Turtle Art isn't about giving the turtle orders one-by-one; it's much more fun and useful to string together several commands and have the turtle do them in order - he can do alot cooler tricks that way.

Suggested Projects: Anne Gentle wrote about using Turtle Art to draw letters: [1]. One could also use Turtle to draw other objects. This could either be structured as a cooperative or a competitive (in teams?) activity. Finally, one could perhaps challenge kids to write command combinations that would route the turtle through a maze, as in a friendlier version of the board/card game Robo Rally ([2]).

Following this approach we at OLPC Pakistan [3] have created a simple turtle art activity guide, Your Comments and Suggestions are highly invited; waqas@laptop.org & ebtihaj_obaidi@yahoo.com [4]

Here you can see it: [5]

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