Swap the algorithms. (30 minutes)
Have the students write down instructions for their algorithms on top of the page and draw it. Fold the paper so that the drawing is hidden and only the instructions are visible.
Ask the student next to them to read the algorithm and, without seeing what others have drawn, create their own version. Fold the paper and give it to the next student.
Observe how the algorithm changed. Did the algorithm that the student originally imagined and instructed to others look different in practice? Why?
How could it be made better? Discuss what makes an algorithm easy to follow.
Reverse engineer (30 minutes)
Bring in works from people such as Sol Lewitt, Picasso, Munch, van Gogh, Mondrian or Yayoi Kusama for example.
Ask students to observe and discuss the potential algorithms or rules that might apply in the works of these great artists. Consider collaboratively how the students could write an algorithm that mimics their work?
This exercise also involves pattern recognition skills and decomposition skills.
Conditionals and events (30 minutes)
If the students have done more code work, they might come up with more detailed algorithms
Keep moving right until X.
Move five steps right, then stop.
Keep drawing while X is happening.
Repeat X times.
Change the programmer. Allow one child to give instructions to everyone else and change the algorithms between children according to a rule.
As students consider more complicated constructions and carry them out there are bound to be errors. Have the computer stop. Remind them that making mistakes is a natural part of learning, and debugging is an important skill.
Parallelism (30 minutes)
Can you instruct the computer to make a flower by having each kid draw a piece of it? What about more complicated illustrations?