Programming 1: Algorithms unplugged

This unplugged unit requires no computers so that algorithms, decomposition and debugging are made relatable to familiar contexts, such as dressing up, following directions or making a sandwich, while learning why instructions need to be specific and unambiguous

Choose your lesson

Lesson 1: What is an algorithm?

The word algorithm is introduced and defined through an interactive activity in the form of a set of instructions on how to dress a doll

Learning Objective

To understand what an algorithm is

Lesson 2: Algorithm pictures

Follow algorithms to draw a creature that leads to developing personal unique and specific algorithms, while building an understanding of how instructions must be very specific

Learning Objective

To follow instructions precisely to carry out an action

Lesson 3: Virtual assistants

Becoming virtual assistants such as Alexa or Siri leads to a heightened understanding of inputs and outputs in this unplugged role-play orientated lesson

Learning Objective

To understand that computers and devices around us use inputs and outputs

Lesson 4: Step by step

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

Learning Objective

To understand and be able to explain what decomposition is

Lesson 5: Debugging directions

The process of debugging is explored through maps and a set of directions with mistakes or ‘bugs’ in them, which must be debugged so that a destination is reached

Learning Objective

To know how to debug an algorithm

Assess your pupils

Assessment quiz and Knowledge catcher. These can be used at the start of the unit to access where pupils are in their learning as well as the end of the unit to assess progress. Go to assessment resources