Y-Shaped Track - Conditional Statements
In this lesson students will explore and understand that the Y-shaped track provides options and be able to design and optimise solutions.
Tell the children that they are going to play the “coloured tickets game”. Choose at least three spots around the classroom to be “train stops.”
Let the children help to name them after their favorite places (e.g., playground, amusement park).
Place different colour bricks at each stop and use the same colour bricks as “tickets.”
You can act as the conductor, giving the children tickets according to where they would like to go.
As you hand out the tickets, introduce the use of if-then statements (e.g., if you have a red ticket, then you go to…).
Ask the children to walk to their destinations and check whether the brick’s colour is same as their “ticket” colour.
Now the children are going to build their own coloured tickets game!
Show them the Y-shaped track and the part of the track with a switch.
Ask them to build a similar Y-shaped track and at least two stops along the track (see sidebar for an example).
Explain that they should use different colour bricks to indicate the stops they have built; just like in the game they have just played.
Choose one child to be the conductor who passes out bricks to be used as “train tickets.”
Tell the children that trains give signals to indicate where they want to go.
Explain that this is not very much different from how they have just used coloured tickets to tell where they wanted to go.
Talk to the children about how trains give signals.
Ask questions like:
- What signals can trains give? (Make a “choo choo” sound.)
- Can trains give signals without making sounds? (e.g., by flashing their lights, giving a colour signal, or by how they are decorated)
- Which type of signal do you think is best? Why?
Encourage the children to use both track switches to build a three-ended or Q-shaped track.
Talk about the logistics of running a train on this type of track.
Ask questions like:
- How will you give signals now that you have more destinations?
- How will you help the train to go back and visit other stops? (By using the green action brick.)
Evaluate the children’s skills development by observing if they’re:
- Asking questions about concepts related to science and technology
- Observing and describe objects and events
- Identifying cause and effect relationships
- Understand that the Y-shaped track provides options
- Design and optimise solutions
- Be able to compare different train track shapes and their uses (i.e., sequencing, looping and conditional statements)
For up to six children
Each lesson has been developed using the science, science, mathematics, and technology guidelines from the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), Head Start, and the 21st Century Early Years Learning skills.
The learning goals listed at the end of each lesson can be used to determine whether each child is developing the relevant skills. These bullet points target specific skills or pieces of information that are practiced or presented during each lesson.