This 30 minute - 1 hour computer science activity is ideal for grades three and up participants. Using online instructions, youth will improve their creativity, communication, and coding skills, and garner confidence. Using Google’s Made with Code program, youth will design their own emoji using block programming. This is the perfect introduction to computer science as it also gives youth to design their own “online image.”


Big Ideas

  1. An emoji is a computer generated icon that represents a feeling.
  2. Computer Science can help us create images/art using a different modality and makes it easy to share these artifacts online and communicate them widely.
  3. Block coding will let participants drag and drop series of code that program one statement. 

Activity 1

Code Your Own Emoji – 30 minutes


  1. Explain, “Today we’re going to make our own emoji, our very own computer generated icon of ourselves. Instead of using an application like paint or draw we will use code to create our image.”
  2. If you’d like to plan out your emoji you can use paper and colouring utensils to draft your design.
  3. Explain, “We’re going to design an image on a plane (like a graph, or like battleship). The plane is measured by a y and an x axis. The x axis runs horizontally and y axis runs vertically. We’ll use numbers (0-90)  to label  the coordinates on the plane. You will get to place individual shapes in exact locations by choosing both a x and y square.” Tip: explain this while showing the interface on a projected screen:
  4. 3. You will each log in to Google’s Made With Code site which features many free games and activities you can also do at home. The link is: https://www.madewithcode.com/projects/emojify
  5. Follow the onscreen prompts that will walk you through all the steps- to create your own emoji.


  1. Save the emojis, print and hang them on the camp room wall.
  2. Ask participants to describe what coding skills they learned.
  3. Tweet to @ActuaCanada #Codemakers to share their emojis with the network.

Tip: Use this as a teambuilding activity on day one to create group cohesiveness and have all youth feel safe in the space.  Youth can introduce their emoji to the group.

Modifications and Extensions


  • Campers can choose to work in partners supporting eachother to code one emoji at a time.
  • Offer campers to have instructors introduce their emoji if they’re too shy to on day one. Give them the opportunity to introduce themselves to the group at a later time.
  • Allow campers extra time to complete their emoji
  • Provide verbal support throughout the activity. Ask campers to stop and look on as you build your emoji for added tips and tricks.


  • Have early finishers describe how they move the different parts and change their colours.