Jumbo Teachers' Notes

SUBJECT AREA: Practice in sequencing

Jumbo is a very simple program written with five-year-olds in mind, although older and younger children may get something out of it. It presents a small 'micro- world' inhabited by an elephant, a crane and a lorry. You control this environment by using twelve instruction buttons presented at the bottom of the screen. It is for you to discover the possibilities in this miniature environment.

One could argue for a number of educational reasons for using this program —it has small doses of sequencing, problem solving and knowledge of directional words. But I like it best because, for a short while, it puts the user in control. It is fun, challenging, and sometimes a little unsettling to be put in the driving seat and let loose to explore an environment where the possibilities are not entirely predictable. This investigative element is commonly met when using LOGO and adventure games, but it is also important in simpler software. Jumbo is an attempt to exploit this.

(JUMBO is based on the original version of the program for the BBC microcomputer, which was written by Richard Phillips of the ITMA Collaboration, Shell Centre, Nottingham and published on MAPE Tape II in 1984. These notes are adapted from those supplied by Richard for the MAPE Tape II documentation booklet.)

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