Be a Fruit Ninja: Practice Matching By Coding Your MatataBots

Matching is a very basic skill that kids learn when they enter preschool. Right from toddler age, children start identifying objects and learning their names. For example: show them a flashcard of a chair and then point to a chair around the classroom to familiarize them with the object’s name. Now do this exercise multiple times to reinforce what a chair is.

Matching helps kids associate objects and things by different criteria. The simplest type of matching is just identifying the same items and pairing them (ball to ball) or (cup to cup). As the child comes to terms with the basics, increase the level of complexity, by making the worksheet tricky. Now students need to read the instructions, and match as per the following;

• Match a color to the similar colored object
• Count the number of items and match them with the corresponding number
• Match shapes with the object that represents that shape
• Match animals and their young ones
• Match similar geometric patterns …and many more

This activity helps one identify similarities, and differences, and develops observational skills. One needs to have decent hand-eye coordination and motor movements to be able to hold the pencil or crayon and draw a line across the worksheet to match items. Matching helps build cognitive skills and even problem-solving capabilities.

Matatalab Fruit Match-Up Game

Suitable for kids: 4 – 7-year-old | Time: 45 minutes

Today’s digital-savvy generation uses tabs and smart boards in classrooms vs. the traditional chalk, board, and book mediums. As technology has taken over preschools in Dubai and other Middle East Regions, the method of teaching even simple concepts like ‘matching’ is done through fancy coding kits, such as that by Matatalab (readily available in GCC regions, including the UAE). Let’s learn more about the Matatalab Fruit Match-up Game.

Objective:

Allocate a Matatalab Lite kit to students and turn on the Coding Mode. Allow kids to choose their favorite color MatataBot to move from one fruit to another of the same type. For example; move the Bot from the watermelon image on the chart to another watermelon image by navigating our little friend over to the other side of the map. So, it’s as simple as this, move the Bot from fruit to fruit and match them, to develop the child’s abstraction abilities.

Learning Outcome:

• Learn coding so that child can move the MatataBot from one fruit to the other
• Use some math skills to calculate the shortest route to move the MatataBot from one fruit to the other

Key Vocabulary to explain to children through the activity

• Coding: a set of instructions or directions sent to the computer to perform certain tasks
• Sequencing: Following a set of instructions in a proper order
• Robot: A human-like machine that carries out difficult tasks that are inputted by the programmer through the system
• Debugging: Trying to fix or remove any error in the computer hardware or software
• Algorithm: Rules or directions to be followed by the computer
• Command: Instructions given to the computer robot

Step-by-step process to perform the activity

1. The teacher shows students how to use coding to plan a path and move the MatataBot from one fruit to the other
2. Divide students into groups and let each child take their turn to place the MatataBot at the starting point by choosing any fruit of their choice and then move it to the end point, to reach the identical fruit
3. Increase the complexity by having a fruit picture and corresponding it to the name of the fruit. This way the child learns the spellings of the fruits as well.