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

Before the lesson

Download classroom resources

Learning objective

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

National curriculum

Pupils should be taught to:

  • Understand what algorithms are; how they are implemented as programs on digital devices; and that programs execute by following precise and unambiguous instructions
  • Create and debug simple programs
  • Use logical reasoning to predict the behaviour of simple programs

Success criteria

Cross-curricular links

Attention grabber

Main event


Pupils needing extra support: Suggest actions for the virtual assistant program, such as close door, sing, jump, say “How can I help you?”


Pupils working at greater depth: Encourage them to identify other devices that can be both inputs and outputs (including devices they may see in the wider world around them).

Wrapping up

Assessing pupils' progress and understanding


Created by:
Siobhan Morgan,  
Computing specialist
Head of Computing at Exeter Junior School, Siobhan Morgan has nine years of computing teaching experience as well as experience from her role of ‘Subject Genius for Computing’ on TES. Siobhán enjoys spending time with her family and searching for the Gruffalo…
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