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Telephone Drawing

In this coding challenge, students will work together remotely to create a code that draws a picture. This is an activity that students will complete and pass along in the background of a video call, so plan on filling its downtime with another lesson or game. Alternatively, it could be completed over the course of a week or full-day.

  • Subjects
  • Art
  • Coding
  • Math
  • Duration
  • 30-60 minutes
  • Compatible Robots
  • Root SimBot
  • Group Size
  • Large Groups (5-10)
  • Full Classroom (20+)
  • Experience Level
  • Grades 3-5
  • Grades 6-9
  • Things You'll Need
  • iRobot Coding platform
  • Video Chat Platform

With the Class

  1. Demonstrate how to upload and download code projects to your students.
  2. Challenge your students to work together to create a collaborative project that codes Root to draw a picture. Example Picture Goals would be a flower, tree, smiley face, etc.
  3. Share your list of student names (the “telephone chain”) in the chat box of the video call.
  4. Ask Student #1 on the telephone chain to download your Telephone Drawing project using the 5-character code you previously generated.
  5. Inform students of which Learning Level you will all be coding in for this project. Example: “All of the code we add MUST be in Level 2”
  6. Challenge Student #1 to:
    1. add 3 code blocks to the project (you can decide what would work best for your class; see Modifications Page)
    2. re-upload the project,
    3. and send the NEW 5-character project code in the chat to Student #2.
  7. Ask Student #2 to repeat the previous step, adding their own code blocks to the project. When they upload their project, it should show the code blocks you, Student #1 AND Student #2 all added.
  8. As students pass along new 5-character codes down the telephone chain and continue to add code blocks to the project, ask them to test running the code in the simulator.
  9. When you’ve reached the end of the telephone chain, ask the last student to send you the last 5-character project code. Was your class about to create a completed code picture that matches the Picture Goal?


Congratulations on completing your coding activity! Your next steps are:

1. Share on social media that your class has completed an Hour of Code™ using the tags #HourOfCode and #iRobotEducation

2. Visit to download your Hour of Code™ Completion Certificate!

Educational Standards

CSTA K-12 CS Standards


Store, copy, search, retrieve, modify, and delete information using a computing device and define the information stored as data.


Develop programs with sequences and simple loops, to express ideas or address a problem.


Decompose (break down) the steps needed to solve a problem into a precise sequence of instructions.


Develop plans that describe a program’s sequence of events, goals, and expected outcomes.


Give attribution when using the ideas and creations of others while developing programs.


Debug (identify and fix) errors in an algorithm or program that includes sequences and simple loops.


Work respectfully and responsibly with others online.


Create programs that include sequences, events, loops, and conditionals.


Decompose (break down) problems into smaller, manageable subproblems to facilitate the program development process.


Modify, remix, or incorporate portions of an existing program into one's own work, to develop something new or add more advanced features.


Use an iterative process to plan the development of a program by including others' perspectives and considering user preferences.


Observe intellectual property rights and give appropriate attribution when creating or remixing programs.