Algorithms: option 2


Option 2: Design an activity that explores sequences of instructions. In the early years, this could be an activity that encourages children to develop skills in putting things into a logical sequence. In the older years this could be more complex and involve students playing a game or doing an activity.


Curriculum level/ code: Create and interpret simple grid maps to show position and pathways (ACMMG065) &

Use visually represented sequenced steps (algorithms), including steps with decisions made by the user (branching) (ACTDIP011)



Activity: (developed idea from Sandwich bot video from MOOC)


Preparation: Put an numbered envelope on each child’s desk, containing a direction. Using masking tape on the floor mask a simple square grid over the entire of the classroom.


Lesson: – Teacher to stand at the front of the classroom dressed as a robot and talks in a robot voice introducing the mapping lesson. Explicit teaching of how to make a map and relate it to an algorithm. Explain what an algorithm is. – Teacher then says: “open your envelope and in correct order call out instructions” in a robot voice. Teacher is then lead around the class to reach the desired end place. -In pairs, ask each child to make their own map of directions around a classroom and the other child is to follow it. Swap over so each child is able to have their turn at being the robot.



  • Differentiate the instruction difficulty on each card depending on the students.
  • Allow flexible mixed ability seating.



  • TPACK: Teacher and student will need good TPACK knowledge to apply sequencing.
  • Gradual release of responsibility model: I do, we do, you do. Explicit teaching shows how to make a map (I do), then whole class activity to direct the teacher around the class (we do), finally students carry out an activity in pairs designing their own map (you do).


Relevance to D&T

  • Create a sequence of steps to solve a given task (WATPPS16): Children will be planning their own map


Lecture Integration:

  • You could easily incorporate Makey Makey activities into this lesson. The lesson will need to take place in a bigger space for example school playground. Draw the grid using chalk on the ground. Have several Makey Makey stations for children to interact with (similar to how to the UWA students did in the lecture). Organise the children into staggered groups on the grid to avoid traffic. Each group is provided with a set of instructions to navigate around the grid to each Makey Makey stations.


Limitations of this idea.

  • Heavy amount of planning and resources required.
  • Concepts of a circuit will need to be taught so they understand about the Makey Makey technology in prior lessons.
  • Concepts of mapping will need to be taught in prior lessons.
  • Be very clear to avoid confusion about the two concepts taught.


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