Explaining the concept of programming

How would you explain the concept of programming (including sequencing and algorithms) to your students?

To teach algorithms to young children, I would tell the kids that we are going to hide some buried treasure. We want to hide it well so only the good guy can find it. We have to leave him good directions on where to go to get the buried treasure in the dangerous jungle full of traps and surprises. Then, you could have a mat with boxes or a piece of posterboard with boxes. Some of the boxes have traps or other surprises in them. The students will have to make a happy map using arrows to carefully avoid the bad parts of the jungle. Once they are done, you can tell them that they made their first algorithms. This would be a fun way to introduce the word. Kids could even dress up like pirates and talk like pirates!

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