The purpose of this lesson is to have students create flowcharts that describe an algorithmic process. Several curricular examples are provided, but the activity can be adapted to many mathematical topics. The main goal is to have students think critically about a process and be able to describe that process accurately in a flowchart. The curricular topic of the flowchart does not need to be overly complicated. Ideally, creation of the flowchart will challenge the students to consider ideas such as communication,
efficiency, and completeness.
This is a one-day (or two-day, depending on how far you take the extensions) class activity in which students are introduced to algorithms and flowcharts using a card sorting algorithm from www.csunplugged.org and working through a sample flowchart (or two). Students then develop and share their own flowcharts describing an algorithm from their curriculum. Suggested areas are provided in the Teaching Notes section.