Coding in Elementary

A Professional Learning Resource for Ontario Educators

Learning Opportunity:

Mouse Trap



Curriculum Areas:

The Four Frames of the Kindergarten Program

Prior Knowledge:



Individual / Small Group

Unplugged Activity

Program Expectations

1. communicate with others in a variety of ways, for a variety of purposes, and in a variety of contexts (BC, SRWB, DLMB, PSI)
7. participate actively and regularly in a variety of activities that require the application of movement concepts (SRWB)
13. use the processes and skills of an inquiry stance (i.e., questioning, planning, predicting, observing, and communicating) (PSI)
14. demonstrate an awareness of the natural and built environment through hands-on investigations, observations, questions, and representations of their findings (DLMB, PSI)


 Educators observe, listen, and ask probing questions in order to document and interpret the children’s thinking and learning and, in their interactions with the children, to develop a shared understanding of what they are learning and what the next steps in their learning should be.  (The Kindergarten Program, 2016, p.36)


Grid floor mat (or use floor tiles and mark them off with masking tape)
Mouse on Cardstock
Mousetraps on Cardstock

Educator Video on Coding Knowledge

Educator Video on Next Steps

Learning Opportunity or Provocation Plan

Have students review directional movement vocabulary - forward, back, side, side.  

Introduce the parts of the Mouse Trap Game: coding mat, mouse and mouse traps.

Explain that you are going to be creating a maze with the mousetraps on the mat.

Tell the students that the object of the game is to move the mouse safely from one side of the mat to the other side without landing on a mousetrap. If you move incorrectly and land on a mousetrap, the mouse will be caught.

Discuss the importance of following directions. 

Have the student follow the directions given by the educator to start moving through the maze.

Educator Video: Directed Instruction

Allow students to have a turn following educator directions to successfully go through the maze with help from the class.

Have a discussion with students as to why it is important to follow directions. Question to see their understanding of the activity.


Partner or assist students with movements as needed.

Next Steps

Allow students to help give the directions to other students to successfully avoid the mousetraps. Introduce the word coding as “specific instructions to follow in order to complete a task”.   Make connections within their classroom.  What are the steps to clean up the house centre?  What steps should we follow to get ready for outdoor recess in the winter?

Extension Links

Using the CodyRoby game cards create your own theme based board. Students place the card over the object (dinosaur in this video) and turn or move it in the direction of the card to get to the food source.