1. Write the word "Algorithm" on the board. Tell the students that an algorithm is a list of steps that you follow to complete a task.
2. Ask the class for volunteers. Choose two students. Put one student at one end of the room, the other student at another end of the room, and place a few obstacles (trash can, chair, etc.) in between them.
3. Blindfold one student (the computer) and tell the other student that he/she is the programmer. The programmer must give the computer a list of steps to follow (write an algorithm) to reach the programmer. As the programmer gives instructions, the computer must follow them exactly. If the programmer isn't precise, then the computer has a bug and must restart.
4. After the computer has reached the programmer, have the students sit down. The teacher should write the list of steps that the computer completed. Explain that those steps are an algorithm. The computer could not think on its own. It had to complete the algorithm, and if there was a wrong step, the computer had a bug. That step needed to be removed and replaced with the correct step for the computer to complete the task.
5. Tell the students that we are going to think about a common activity that requires a list of steps to complete. Ask students how to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
6. Have students raise their hands as they give the explicit steps to complete how to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Write the steps on the board by numbering them. Make sure they include every detail such as "pick up the knife", etc.
7. Next, share with the students that an algorithm, a list of steps, is like sequencing in our writing and reading. There are transition words that help a writer such as next, last, furthermore, after, etc.
8. Model for students how to write a paragraph using the sentences from the algorithm and the transition words to create a paragraph that explains how to create a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Include a topic sentence and a concluding sentence.
9. Have the students write the paragraph along with you to record in their writers' notebook as an example of a sequencing paragraph/algorithm.
10. Tell the students they are now going to create algorithms on the computer. Remind students that an algorithm is a list of steps that you follow to complete a task. In this lesson, students will create a list of steps on code.org that an angry bird must take to reach a green pig.
11. Students will write at least one algorithm on code.org or as many as time allows.