Teaching sequencing


I had this Teacher and he told us sequencing is like sending a 4 years old kid for his first errand (aka adventure) . he told us to make sure the kid succeeds you tell him everything to the smallest detail.

Now that i think about it i think it would be a cool activity to help Students indirectly understand that a computer needs detailed sequencing . also it would be kind of funny and lighthearted activity
in mind the activity will be a small competition and the Students one group will guide a student from the other team to run a simple errand ( clean the board , sit in a chair , leave the room …etc ) . DO you think this would be a good activity ? i’m open to all kind of suggestions and ideas

PS: My students won’t be not toddlers.


I see explaining the algorithm to my students as a recipe. They have all helped someone in their family cook before and know that they have to follow steps to get their.


This is the first year I am teaching library to Pre-K, Kinder and Grade 1. I was thinking of introducing coding to Kindergarten and Grade 1 students and I absolutely love Code.org. And I really like all the ideas on this forum. I will probably start later in the year, by using some sequencing cards as elements of storytelling and then going on to sequencing cards as elements of programming.


At the beginning my programming unit I ask my students to come up with sequence of instructions to make me accomplish a task. For example, I could ask them to instruct me to walk to a specific location in the classroom and fetch a book. The fun part is I’m a computer and I take only explicit commands.


I will start with a game first, where they can give instructions to their friends on how to get from point a to point b and elaborate and connect that to the programming lesson.


I have some of the students pair up - I give one of the students in each group a card with a destination (e.g. Teacher’s desk) written on it. The student then has to give the other student in the group directions to the particular destination without ever revealing the destination. My instruction to the student following the directions is that he/she has to do exactly what is said to him/her (e.g. Move forward will result in the student moving forward on the chair if he/she was sitting down). We normally have the whole class in stiches at some of the antics but they soon get the message - instructions need to be clear and given in the correct sequence otherwise the student will never reach the correct destination.
I will definitely use the Building a foundation, Graph paper and Real-life algorithms exercises in future lessons to further enhance their understanding.


Hello all…

The old “how do you make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich” activity, we talk about the importance of planning thing in advance and using each part, as a part of the whole sandwich.



I would explain the process of coding to the kids by referring to when they learned how to tie their shoes. Having them talk about the importance of the process to make the knot stay and what happens when they miss a step.

Such interesting connections listed in some of the other posts that are also valuable. This is going to be exciting to work with the students on coding.


I love the unplugged games because it gets kids thinking about sequencing and process. We do a little bit of this anyway when we ask kids to write about the steps to making a sandwich while another kids creates that sandwich based on the student’s instructions. In math, we think about the steps to solving simple math problems while another orchestrates those steps. If we really think about it, there are so many curricular ties that we can draw upon beyond this activity. I work with all grades K-12 and am currently working to bring CS to our K-5 curriculum.


I had my students draw mazes the other day. They then had to trade with a friend and have the friend go through the maze with eyes closed. The students understood how important it was to give the right directions in the right order based on how the friend responded. It was fun to watch.


Have the student talk about what it means to do something first, then second and then third. Perhaps read a story that has these concepts in it. They can talk with a partner about a person sequencing activity that they do, e.g brushing teeth, or getting a bowl of cereal for breakfast .


Our school is located in the heart of downtown in our city. We are only a few blocks from the city library. Students go there weekly to check out books and participate in special activities. Since they are familiar with this routine and route I would have them draw a map or our local area. I would then make a copy for them to draw on as we take our weekly walk to the library. We are so close they could count the steps as we turn the different directions. This would be great to open discussions with the older students on taking different routes, reversing the instructions, road blocks, etc.


Sequencing fits in almost perfectly with language arts. After doing the hands-on sequencing activities, students can write a paragraph about how to get to the lunch room, for example. Not only would the students get an opportunity to practice sequencing skills, but it would also be a good opportunity for them to become more familiar with word processing programs.


@leulseged_assefa what a great idea. This is my first time teaching just a computer class and I love your idea on how to explain sequencing to your students. Teaching K-6, it will be fun to see the different explanations that the students come up with.


I also use either how to make a peanut butter sandwich or how to brush your teeth as ways to teach sequencing.

K-5 School Librarian


I run an enrichment STEM program for high level math learners in grades 1-6. I only have a 40 minute time period with each group and only see student about 22 times per year. In the Fall we do computer coding. I have to talk bout what an algorithm (sequencing) rather succinctly. I do this by asking students to give me directions to walk to their other side of the room and sit in another chair. But I DO like the PB&J example! I will use that too!


Last year I use code week and hour of code resources to show my students basics of programming.


For my primary students I like to use unplugged activities. One of my students’ favorite activities is called Program the Teacher. I review simple commands with students and have them direct me around the class using the commands. Also, we like to use the students as robot arms with cups. It’s bit tricky because they all move their arms differently but it’s fun and it helps them understand the basic concepts.


I have used the Peanut Butter Sandwich activity. But I really do think that sequencing is an activity best taught unplugged. I am a technologist through and through, but I find that some things can only be learned unplugged from tech.

Steps to Problem Solving is another simple process to help understand that you really do have to do things one step at a time to get the right results and understand how you got there.


I’ve used the sequencing lessons as a whole group unplugged and walked them through it using projector first. This enables me to work with the whole group of students to discuss and problem solve their thinking. We look at what comes first and identify any patterns we may see in order to begin to use the repeats within the pattern. With younger students in particular for course 1 work, in the past I have started with paired coding where I pair a stronger learner with one that may need more guidance. I have the students take turns working through the programming sequences to solve the puzzle.