Algorithms unplugged

This unplugged topic takes children away from computers to relate algorithms, decomposition and debugging to familiar contexts, such as dressing up, drawing a picture, following directions or making a sandwich while learning why their instructions need to be specific and unambiguous

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Lesson 1: What is an algorithm?

Children are introduced to what an algorithm is and create their own by giving a set of instructions on how to dress a doll

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Lesson 2: Algorithm pictures

Children follow algorithms to draw a creature, then develop their own algorithms, building their understanding of how specific they must be with their instructions

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Lesson 3: Virtual assistants

By acting like Alexa, Siri or another virtual assistant, children develop their understanding of inputs and outputs

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Lesson 4: Step by step

After drawing an image made from simple shapes, children use decomposition to break down the process into steps to enable someone else to replicate the drawing

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Lesson 5: Debugging directions

Children are given maps and a set of directions with mistakes or ‘bugs’ in them which they have to debug so that they can reach the destination

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