One way that sequencing of instructions can be explored with upper years students is through the use of tangrams. For an assignment, I created a unit of work for a Year 5 class that centres on describing translations, reflections and rotations of two-dimensional shapes and identifying line and rotational symmetries. This content descriptor integrates well with programming and decomposition.
One activity in this unit that explores sequencing of instructions is playing a barrier game with tangrams. In this activity, students have to tell their partner over the barrier how to create a random or specific shape using their tangram shapes. This activity helps students reflect upon the importance of specific and sequential instructions.
Another similar activity, is the creation of a tessellation tile pattern as inspired by the artwork of M.C. Escher. In this activity, the students create a tessellation tile using tangram shapes that is then translated, rotated or flipped to create a full tessellation pattern. The students then write instructions so that another student can replicate the tessellation. Restrictions can also be placed on the formation of the tessellation to challenge or differentiate for student needs.
I’ve included an image of a tessellation pattern that I created using tangrams!