Author:
Michael Speidel, Sharon Brandon
Subject:
Computer Science, Algorithms and Programming, Business and Information Technology, English, Health/Physical Education, Mathematics, Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab, Lesson, Lesson Plan, Visual Media
Level:
Upper Primary, Middle School
Tags:
Algorithm, Virginia K-12 Computer Science Pipeline
Language:
English
Media Formats:

# Algorithm Picture Lesson

## Overview

The goal of this activity is to build critical thinking skills and excitement for Computer Science / Computational Thinking, while laying a foundation of fundamental programming concepts. By scaffolding basic concepts like sequencing and algorithms in an unplugged activity, students who are intimidated by computers can still build a foundation of understanding. In this lesson, students will learn how to develop an algorithm and encode it into a program.

By "programming" one another to draw pictures, students experience some of the core concepts of programming in a fun and accessible way. The class will start by having students view a video of a simple program demonstrating how to develop instructions for building a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Students will start with simple shapes, and progress to the coding of a specific drawing that other students will then try to replicate (“running the program”).

If there is a desire to have a more of a Math slant on the lesson, the drawing could take place on graph paper. Students would then use the coordinates to complete the drawing.

# Algorithm Picture Lesson

 The Big IdeaThe goal of this activity is to build critical thinking skills and excitement for Computer Science / Computational Thinking, while laying a foundation of fundamental programming concepts. By scaffolding basic concepts like sequencing and algorithms in an unplugged activity, students who are intimidated by computers can still build a foundation of understanding. In this lesson, students will learn how to develop an algorithm and encode it into a program. Topic / ProblemBy "programming" one another to draw pictures, students experience some of the core concepts of programming in a fun and accessible way. The class will start by having students view a video of a simple program demonstrating how to develop instructions for building a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Students will start with simple shapes, and progress to the coding of a specific drawing that other students will then try to replicate (“running the program”). If there is a desire to have a more of a Math slant on the lesson, the drawing could take place on graph paper. Students would then use the coordinates to complete the drawing. Learning ObjectivesIn this lesson students will be able to identify that computers complete actions based on a set of directions. These “directions'' are called algorithms.  Students will be able to reframe a sequence of steps as an encoded program and explain constraints of translating problems from human language to machine language.