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

Choose your lesson

Lesson 1: What is an algorithm?

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

Lesson 2: Algorithm pictures

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

Lesson 3: Virtual assistants

The children act like Alexa, Siri or another virtual assistant, to develop their understanding of inputs and outputs.

Lesson 4: Step by step

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

Lesson 5: Debugging directions

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