Lesson Plan

What Is an Algorithm?

In this lesson, students will learn to create a simple algorithm using block code. The platform used for this activity is a website created by Google that provides free educational games that teach students to program using block code.
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Learning Objectives

Students will program a block code algorithm for navigating a virtual maze.

Introduction

(5 minutes)
  • To introduce this lesson, you will be acting out a scenario in which you demonstrate the concept of algorithm.
  • Place an object, like a coffee mug, on a desk or table and then take a few steps back.
  • Tell your students, "I need my coffee mug but I can't reach it from here. What should I do?"
  • Students will make suggestions like, "Walk over there and get it." Challenge students to be more specific by asking, "How many steps should I take?"
  • Once you have successfully reached the coffee mug, recap the instructions that the students offered. "Your instructions were to walk three steps forward."
  • Tell your students that this is an example of an algorithm: a sequence of step-by-step instructions.
  • Explain that computer programmers create algorithms using code, and today they are going to learn to create their own algorithms using a code called Blockly.
  • Give students time to ask questions to request more information about algorithms, the topic of coding, or Blockly.