The final lesson I do on Logo is always my favourite one - I teach the children how to program the on-screen 'robot' to draw a pretty picture of a flower.
The commands they need to enter are fairly straightforward (in that they are all ones which have been encountered before), so the activity also serves well as an opportunity to recap on/consolidate the Logo programming skills I've covered with them.
I start by asking them to create two procedures - one which draws a square (to be used in the flower head) and one which draws a leaf (which is basically 2 quarter circles). I prompt them to test that they both work to ensure they correct any mistakes early on. Every year it's a guarantee that several children will need to edit their work here as Logo is very particular about syntax - it definitely doesn't like that missing space or square bracket at the end!
Next, I put up on the IWB the commands they need enter to draw the flower, which involves calling the two procedures just made. We discuss as a class why each line of command(s) is required so that everyone understands why it is necessary to put each instruction in.
Once they've successfully drawn one simple flower, I then allow them to spend the rest of the lesson drawing other flowers which look more attractive and encourage them to save their designs by going to 'Bitmap' > 'Save As...' from the menu bar at the top of the program. Things which they like doing to improve the appearance of their flowers:
- changing the screen background colour by going to 'Set' > 'Screen Color' (which must be done before drawing the flower);
- changing the pen colour using the setpc command;
- changing the pen's thickness using the setpensize [5 5] command;
- drawing different coloured/shaped flower heads which overlay each other to create interesting effects;
- using the setfloodcolor, pu, pd and fill commands to colour in the petals and leaves.
The flower pictures which they produce look amazing each year and they really enjoy experimenting to see what different, creative designs they can each produce.
Logo is a fantastic program for teaching programming skills in my opinion. Even in this modern age, the children still love trying to solve the challenges it gives them and like seeing the effects of executing (running) the different commands they enter. Do give it a go with your class - your children will definitely thank you for it!