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Estimated Time:15 minutes

Score Type:Auto Score

This lesson automatically provides a score to your gradebook

Available Languages: English, Spanish

Primary Objectives:

  • Students will learn about algorithm problem solving and how algorithms are processes can be used to solve problems, make decisions, and complete tasks.
  • Students will identify algorithms in everyday life.
  • Students will identify inputs, such as materials and actions needed to complete a task, and outputs, such as information or products that result from the algorithmic process.
  • Students will understand that a problem needs to be defined, with inputs and the desired output, as the first step in solving the problem
  • Students will learn methods that can help analyze problems, such as decomposition and abstraction.
  • Students will understand that an existing algorithm can be used to create a new algorithm by modifying the process depending on the needs of the new situation

Secondary Objectives:

  • Students will learn how algorithms are used in computer programming, and that algorithms are necessary in order for computers to complete tasks.
  • Students will learn appropriate terminology used in computer programming.
  • Students gain a better understanding of the design process.


Algorithm Development 

Information Technology > Programming > Algorithm Development 

Critical / Analytical Thinking

Language Arts > Life Skills Daily Life > Critical / Analytical Thinking


Science > Concepts and Processes > Data Analysis and Interpretation > Engineering


Science > Concepts and Processes > Problem Solving > Engineering


Science > Concepts and Processes > Student Application > Investigate / Investigation > Engineering


Information Technology > Technology Use In Society > Design Process > Experimentation

Functional Decompositio

Information Technology > Programming > Functions > Functional Decompositio

Input / Output Procedures 

Information Technology > Programming > Input / Output Procedures 

Listening / Pay Attention

Language Arts > Communication > Media Literacy / Viewing > Comprehension > Listening / Pay Attention

Look for and make use of structure

Mathematics > Process Standards > Common Core > Look for and make use of structure

Math in Daily Life

Mathematics > Process Standards > Math in Daily Life


Mathematics > Process Standards > Problem Solving > Methods/Steps/Strategies


Mathematics > Process Standards > Computation > Methods/Steps/Strategies

Problem Solving

Social Studies > Process and Literacy Skills > Social Science - History > Problem Solving


Mathematics > Process Standards > Models/Representations > Problem-solving


Science > History / Technology / Social Perspectives > Engineering / Engineering Design Process > Model Construction > Prototype

Technical / Specialized

Language Arts > Communication > Listening Strategies / Context > Content Specific > Technical / Specialized

Technological Designs

Science > History / Technology / Social Perspectives > Engineering / Engineering Design Process > Technological Designs

Timelines / Diagrams

Language Arts > Reading / Literature > Visual Aids > Graphs / Charts > Timelines / Diagrams

To Perform Some Task

Science > History / Technology / Social Perspectives > Engineering / Engineering Design Process > Model Construction > To Perform Some Task

Vocabulary and Abbreviations 

Information Technology > Basic Operations and Concepts > Vocabulary and Abbreviations 


Information Technology > Programming > Vocabulary 
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Teacher Notes:

  • This lesson provides a basic foundational understanding of computer programming. Students will be shown how algorithms are useful in everyday situations, even though we would not necessarily refer to everyday processes as algorithms. A good introduction to algorithms can be found in board game instructions. Have students read instructions for game play of a chosen game and draw out a flowchart of how the game is played, including decision branches, inputs, and variables. Students can then modify this flowchart as they continue to learn about flowcharts in the next lessons.

Extension Ideas:

  • Have students keep a log or list of all the algorithms they use in their daily schedule. Students can add these algorithms, or processes, to a master class list. In small groups, have students construct a model or flowchart of a chosen process. Ask students to determine if the algorithm can or should be modified in any way. Students should share their ideas with the class.


S.3.d Students build knowledge by actively exploring real-world issues and problems, developing ideas and theories and pursuing answers and solutions.
S.4.a Students know and use a deliberate design process for generating ideas, testing theories, creating innovative artifacts or solving authentic problems.
S.4.d Students exhibit a tolerance for ambiguity, perseverance and the capacity to work with open-ended problems.
S.5.a Students formulate problem definitions suited for technology-assisted methods such as data analysis, abstract models and algorithmic thinking in exploring and finding solutions.
S.5.b Students collect data or identify relevant data sets, use digital tools to analyze them, and represent data in various ways to facilitate problem-solving and decision-making.
S.5.c Students break problems into component parts, extract key information, and develop descriptive models to understand complex systems or facilitate problem-solving.
S.5.d Students understand how automation works and use algorithmic thinking to develop a sequence of steps to create and test automated solutions.
2-AP-10 Use flowcharts and/or pseudocode to address complex problems as algorithms. (P4.4, P4.1)
2-AP-13 Decompose problems and subproblems into parts to facilitate the design, implementation, and review of programs. (P3.2)
Math.Practice.MP1 Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them.
Math.Practice.MP4 Model with mathematics.
Math.Practice.MP7 Look for and make use of structure.
ELA-Literacy.RST.6-8.7 Integrate quantitative or technical information expressed in words in a text with a version of that information expressed visually (e.g., in a flowchart, diagram, model, graph, or table).
ELA-Literacy.WHST.6-8.1e Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the argument presented.
ELA-Literacy.WHST.6-8.2f Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the information or explanation presented.
ELA-Literacy.WHST.6-8.4 Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
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