Marching Orders #
Computer programs are sequences of instructions that the computer must follow. There are hundreds of computer languages, but all involve giving clear and unambiguous instructions to a devices that doesn’t understand meanings.
This activity demonstrates some of the issues that arise when we try to give precise instructions to achieve a desired outcome.
Activity description (PDF) #
Translations and other versions #
- Chinese language version
- French language version
- Greek language version
- Hungarian language version
- Italian language version
- Polish language version
- Portuguese (Brazil) language version
- Serbo-Croatian language version
- Slovenian Language Translation
Related Resources #
- Mordechai (Moti) Ben-Ari from the Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel has programmed the Marching Orders Unplugged activity in Scratch which can be downloaded in a zip file of the complete set of activities. Please read the
- A nice extension to this module is a Kinaesthetic Learning Activity (KLA) activity developed by Paul A. G. Sivilotti to introduce CS concepts to high school girls is Software Engineering: “Mars Pathfinder”. This activity illustrates the fact that a program is a series of instructions that tells a computer exactly what to do. So, a computer scientist must design the program carefully, to be sure that the computer will do the right thing. Please note that this activity requires the use of a Lego Rover robot.
- A Recursive Samburu story retold by Jeff Johnson
- An engaging extension of the Marching Orders activity, developed by the PINY team in Seoul, Korea. As well as introducing programming, it exposes students to the idea of open-source development, and also programming language design.
Curriculum Links #
Great Principles of Computer Science #
ACM K12 Curriculum #
- Level I (Grades 6-8) Topic 9: Demonstrate an understanding of concepts underlying hardware, software, algorithms, and their practical applications.