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.

Sam and his Mum walk to school. What is the first step in the algorithm?
Arrive at school
Walk down the street
Cross the road
Leave the house
Getting ready for school in a morning could be another algorithm
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?
See if it is raining
Tell jokes
Walk down the street
Tell funny jokes
This algorithm isn’t about jokes or the weather!
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?
Turn left at the end of the street
Go to the shops
Go all the way to the town centre
See how long Lincoln Road is
Don’t forget what the algorithm is about - getting to school
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?
Turn left into the Methodist church
Go as far as the Methodist church
Go into the Methodist church
Go as far as the zebra crossing and cross the road
What colour are zebra crossings painted?
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?
Keep walking along the same road
Meet Luke and his Mum
Meet Luke
Meet Luke’s Mum
Luke and his Mum are not there at the same time every day
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?
Walk along the main road
Cross the main road
Turn back at the main road
Go back home
What does a red man mean at a crossing?
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?
Go into the shop on Mondays
Go to the corner with Chester Grove and turn right
Buy some sweets
See how many sweets you get
Buying sweets doesn’t get you to school!
The school is further along Chester Grove. It is on the right. What is the next step in the algorithm?
Walk into school
Turn right into school
Go to the classroom
Walk along Chester Grove as far as the school
Sam and his Mum haven’t got to the school quite yet
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?
Go back home
Go to the classroom
Turn right into the school
Turn left into the school
Sam and his Mum have arrived at school
What is the final step in this algorithm?
Go through the doors into the school
Go back home
Walk along the street
Cross the road
Can you write an algorithm for Sam and his Mum walking back from school to their home in the afternoon?
You can find more about this topic by visiting BBC Bitesize - What is an algorithm?

Author:  David Bland

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