Algorithms - How to Make an Algorithm 1
Buying sweets doesn't get you to school!

Algorithms - How to Make an Algorithm 1

This quiz addresses part of the requirements of the National Curriculum KS1 for children aged 5 and 6 in years 1 and 2 in Computing. Specifically it looks at how to make algorithms and uses a journey to school as an example algorithm. It is one of 20 quizzes to help you find out about how computers work, and how they affect all our lives.

Many things could be made into algorithms, for example, recipes or journeys. An algorithm is a list. It lists the steps you need to take to carry out a plan. It has to be in the correct order. Your daily trip to school is another good example. In this quiz you will help write an algorithm. It has 10 steps. It is an algorithm about a journey to school. Each question in the quiz asks you to choose the next thing to write down in the algorithm.

  1. Sam and his Mum walk to school. What is the first step in the algorithm?
    Getting ready for school in a morning could be another algorithm
  2. Sam says, “If it is wet I put up my hood. I talk to my Mum. We walk down our street. Mum laughs at my jokes.”

    What is the next step in the algorithm for getting to school?
    This algorithm isn’t about jokes or the weather!
  3. Sam says, “At the end of our street we turn left into Lincoln Road. Lincoln Road is very long. It goes all the way into the town centre. That’s where the shops are.”

    What is the next step in the algorithm for getting to school?
    Don’t forget what the algorithm is about - getting to school
  4. Sam says, “We pass the Methodist church on our left. Then we cross the road at the zebra crossing.”

    What is the next step in the algorithm?
    What colour are zebra crossings painted?
  5. Sam says, “After the zebra crossing, we carry on walking along Lincoln Road. Some days my friend Luke and his Mum catch up with us.”

    Which one of these will you write down next in your algorithm?
    Luke and his Mum are not there at the same time every day
  6. Sam and his Mum then get to the main road. They cross the road. Sam presses the button and waits for the green man to light up before they cross the road.

    What is the next step in the algorithm?
    What does a red man mean at a crossing?
  7. Sam says, “We get to the corner of Lincoln Road and Chester Grove. We turn right into Chester Grove. There is a shop on the corner. It sells sweets and drinks. On Fridays, Mum lets me buy some sweets at the shop.”

    What will you write down next?
    Buying sweets doesn’t get you to school!
  8. The school is further along Chester Grove. It is on the right. What is the next step in the algorithm?
    Sam and his Mum haven’t got to the school quite yet
  9. The school is on Chester Grove. It is on the right. Sam and his Mum have reached the school gates. What now is the next step in the algorithm?
    Sam and his Mum have arrived at school
  10. What is the final step in this algorithm?
    Can you write an algorithm for Sam and his Mum walking back from school to their home in the afternoon?

Author: David Bland

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