# Introduction to algorithms lesson plan

## What is an algorithm?

An algorithm is a set of step-by-step instructions used to solve a problem. They are used by both human beings and computers.

Algorithms for Humans

Common examples of algorithms for humans include:

Fire evacuation Procedures

Cooking Recipes

Furniture assembly instructions

Washing Machine Usage Instrucitons

## Computer Algorithms

#### Algorithms for Computers

Computers require algorithms to function and these usually come in the form of software. Computers differ from humans in that the instructions provided must completely unambiguous – they must be clear and not open to interpretation.

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Computer Algorithms used in computers are usually written in text or block based programming languages such as Python or Scratch, though some algorithms are physically wired into a computer.

## Activity 1

### Write an Algorithm Activity

Choose one of the the following and write an algorithm for it:

• How to make your favourite food
• Your favourite viral Tik-tok dance
• How to make a paper plane
• How to make a cup of tea for a room full of people
• Drawing a picture of a house

## Activity 2

### Activity 2 – Alien shopping algorithm

An alien has landed on earth and you have decided to send him on an important mission โ to do your weekly shopping down at the supermarket! You have been given a shopping list. The alien has never been shopping before โ can you write a set of instructions for it to do the shopping for you?

Remember!

Your algorithm must be:

• Step-by-step.
• Unambiguous โ Each step must be completely clear and specific.