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 an algorithm 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 an algorithm 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

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

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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.

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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 must debug so that they can reach the destination.

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