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 Coding Algorithm Activity

What is coding? Can young children learn it?

“Coding” is a scary (well for many of us) computer term that describes the sequence of instructions that that a “coder” has created in order to tell a program or computer (or phone, or clock, or car, or pretty much any piece of technology) what to do. It’s basically like a recipe- do this, this and this, then this will happen. This is referred to as an Algorithm (a process or set of rules that must be followed in calculations or other problem-solving operations, especially by a computer).


The ability to create code (to write algorithms that computers understand) is becoming more of a “must have” in our world, and so it is important that we teach children the fundamentals. This activity will provide a starting point in learning how to create a set of instructions to be followed in order to reach a goal.

You will need:

  • Story Grid Printable

  • Arrow cards- up/down, left, right

  • Betty the Yeti's Disappointing Day Picture Book

What to do:

Step 1:

Start by reading “Betty the Yeti’s Disappointing Day”


Step 2:

Discuss how you are going to create an algorithm on the grid using the arrows to follow Betty’s adventures in the story.


Step 3:

Start at the beginning- Betty getting fed up with her white world. Ask the children what happened next, and whether they need to go up, down, left or right to get there.

Step 4:

Count how many squares you need to move in that direction, and add arrow cards to those boxes until you reach the Arctic Hare (Alternatively, you could just draw arrows).

Step 5:

Discuss what happened next, and ask “How do we get there? Up, Down, Right or Left?” Add the arrows from Arctic Hare to Seal Pups.

Step 6:

Continue with this process until you reach the Aurora Borealis.

Step 7

See if there are other ways to reach the different characters using the arrows

You can draw up your own grid for coding activties too

Click PDF filess for coding sheet and cut-outs printables

Click the "Play" button to watch the "How to" Video