I used to teach ELA, before my current role. Making connections by comparing algorithms to recipes and following directions seemed to help students make the connections. My favorite is making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. If you skip a step, the sandwich doesn't come out the way you want it to. You have to be very specific.
Now with teachers I talk about the building blocks of learning. We discuss talk about how students can't learn to read if they don't recognize the alphabet. Or a student will have difficulty with multiplication if they don't understand basic addition facts.