Activity - Try the sorting network with students
Try the sorting network with students
The following video shows an activity that is popular with students, and only needs chalk (or masking tape), some paper, and some space in the playground or classroom to try out. It provides a concrete illustration of the ideas of computational thinking.
Download the transcript for this video.
You can try using a sorting network with your students!
Use this lesson plan and all the details from CS Unplugged.
If your students are engaged with this activity, they are exercising many elements of computational thinking; there are also explanations at the end of the lesson plan in the link above showing the mapping to computational thinking.
The sorting network can be used to put any six things in order.
- If your class is learning about the life cycle of the butterfly the order could be egg, hatchling caterpillar, large caterpillar, building a cocoon, cocoon, butterfly.
- If you are teaching about how fractions relate to each other students could order a half, three quarters, five sixteenths, a third, etc.
- Young students can order physical objects by size, for example, a paperclip, an eraser, a pencil, a whiteboard marker, a book, a scrapbook.
Just make sure the discussion is had before the activity to clarify the expected order (which comes first, the butterfly that lays the egg, or the egg?), and which direction the order will run in (biggest to the left or to the right?). It is also recommended the agreed order is displayed in a prominent position for easy referral during the activity.