Our group actually did this at our PD. It was fun, and I know the kids would enjoy this as well. I will be teaching it at the end of the day so I will allow them to make and take with them a sandwich when done. I think my big take away would be to have everything ready for the students. Just being organized was key. I also liked at our PD when we created a drawing of a house and a son, and family members and were all given time to draw and we discussed how they were all different much like the sandwiches because the drawing we did wasn’t specific. And then lead into the students defining algorithms. I think it would then be great for students to journal how they think other things in their lives have and use algorithms (computers/human) and then discuss with their groups what they came up with. If time share and show video.
At the PD I attending I really liked one of the ideas another teacher brought up where students were each assigned to give directions to a different part of the school and then they traded. Students then went and wrote down the location they thought the directions were leading them to.
If students have allergies and I am not able to use the peanut butter and jelly activity, I could replace those items with something else (like in PD where we used apple sauce instead of peanut butter). Students could also write directions for something else entirely like directions for how to get to a certain part of the school or directions for how to draw a picture of a given object (could be as simple as a square or triangle). If you got them to write directions for how to get to a part of the school you could walk as a class or in small groups and try to follow the directions to see how accurate they are. I hope that I will be able to use the peanut butter and jelly activity because it is something students are already familiar with and food usually motivates them, but it’s good to know there are other options if need be. I also like the idea of giving them sheet music or driving directions and coming up with a vocabulary list that’s essential for being able to follow that set of directions.
I plan on doing the PB&J activity (will have to wait to see if there are any allergies to see if substitutions need to be made). As I experienced in the PD, doing the paper airplane activity was a good idea (and was less biased by students potentially interpreting directions with what they know the directions mean, but didn’t explicitly say) but brought in some inequity for those who may have never made a paper airplane before (my personal experience).
One idea alternative would be to have a YouTube video clip on “How To” (eg, how to brush your teeth) as pre-class homework and then write specific directions for the video that they watched and have their partner then follow those exact directions.
I will check my students’ database for food allergies since I have access. I would substitute peanut butter and jelly sandwich for a banana sandwich, a jelly sandwich, and or parfait if I have a student with food allergies. I plan to use peanut butter and jelly, I like the simplicity of using those ingredients to following directions.
Creating paper airplanes is a great idea, this will truly test abilities in following directions.
I have thought about breaking class in to small groups of 2-3 and having them create a basic image such as a sail boat and have various group see if they can reconstruct the image from the instructions given!
My group had used paper airplanes instead of making a sandwich. This was a great change to the original idea because so many students could have an allergy or it could get messy. The one thing we talked about during this lesson was that clarifying what certain folds meant (example: fold hotdog style, hamburger, etc) and different words for orientation. This works well because it gives a chance for students to see how well their instructions work with flying the paper airplane (like a computer running a program.)
Because of allergies, use only jelly. Most students can/will eat that. On the other hand, I may ask students if they have any allergies prior to doing the lesson.
I’m going to be teaching the same lesson (probably around the same time) with my Geometry students. I liked the paper airplanes, but our classrooms aren’t big enough to fly them. I like the idea of making a PB&J so I will probably do that.
If I did have to deal with students with PB&J allergies, I may do a “Bologna and Cheese” sandwich instead or something…
Apple sauce! We used that in our professional development and I thought that it was a great idea.
The PB and J will definitely my first option. But in case of peanut allergy, I might ask them to make a different sandwich a hotdog sandwich or tune maybe. If not tying shoes or making a paper airplane could be use as an alternative.
When we did this activity in our PD we talked about having a simpler activity first like opening the door. which I will model then give them the PB sandwich activity. I will use only jelly to avoid allergies’ issues
I plan to have my students begin with simple instructions that can be done from their seats. As they begin to grasp the concept of ambiguous directions and the need to define terms and words we will expand to where students create a set of instructions that will lead students through a maze/obstacle course in the room. They will have a set of directions that have to be followed like stepping over a pool noodle, passing through a hula hoop, walking in a clockwise circle around a desk, etc. Students will create instructions in a group and will watch as each group tests their instructions on a human computer.
If we can not use peanut butter, we can still make a jelly sandwich. As a variation, I might have 1/2 the class become experts in making a paper airplane and the other half become expert paper boat makers. Then write out instructions and swap.
This was a fun activity, which I participated during summer PD. The group who taught the lesson substituted applesauce for the peanut butter, which I probably will do as well. I can’t wait!
I would use applesauce instead of peanu tbutter, this was used during our PD and it worked very well. Another option would be to use butter or some other soft spread,
I like the modification we used in the PD. The students had to give detailed instructions for a person to throw away a piece of paper.
Instead of using peanut butter and jelly, maybe write instructions for tying a shoe (a suggestion made by someone at the in-person PD–can’t take credit for this!) Or have the students draw a picture of a house. Then, they have to write instructions as to how to recreate the drawing.
During my PD training, one of the other teachers suggested having students write down the steps of putting on a jacket/ an outer layer. I would try to come up with more ideas that are not food related because there are too many allergies that nowadays kids have.