We were ready to teach kids how to code using a our Create your own Virtual Pet in Scratch workbook. Esperanza was prepared on their end with a brand new computer center. Everything was in place to get kids coding during the week of an Hour of Code. And then the inevitable happened. Esperanza's new computers went down right as we were getting started. This could have been disastrous, but we came prepared. We just so happened to have our Unplugged Code activity handy.
Believe it or not, you don't need to have access to computers to teach kids computational thinking. Students can learn some important practices with just a paper and a pencil. Here's a project kids can complete without any computer access. Even if you have your Hour of Code project ready to go online, you may want to keep this nearby as a handy backup in case the unexpected happens.