Jessica Torrisi▸ Task 6: Algorithms & Programming

Option 2: Design an activity that explores sequences of instructions.

I've used a 'Listen and Draw' activity before to help students with communication and listening but it could easily be extended to explore sequences of instructions. To start with, I would have the whole class sitting with a blank piece of paper and advise them not to look at anyone else's work. I would then tell them to follow my instructions to draw a picture – no questions, just draw. The instructions would be simple like 'draw a tree, now draw two birds in the tree, draw three flowers on the ground, draw the sun in the sky, draw a dog next to the tree' etc. At the end students show their pictures to one another and there's usually a few laughs about how different they are. We could then use that to discuss the importance of giving explicit instructions (eg. 'in the middle of the page, draw a tall tree with a thick brown trunk and green fluffy leaves' or 'draw a yellow sun in the top left hand corner of the page').

I would then pair students up and sit them back to back and ask both students to draw a simple picture of whatever they like. They would then take turns explaining to the other person how to recreate their picture – this will require students to think about the sequence of their instructions (eg. you can't draw the birds in the tree before drawing the tree itself) and also how explicit their instructions will need to be. They can then compare their pictures to see how well they have been able to give and follow instructions. #csertask6

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