Sorting Algorithms

Almost any list that comes out of a computer is sorted into some sort of order, and there are many more sorted lists inside computers that the user doesn’t see. Many clever algorithms have been devised for putting values into order efficiently.

In this activity students compare different algorithms to sort weights in order.

Bubble Sort

Activity description (PDF)



  • Supplies used for the sorting algorithm activities


Related Resources


Curriculum Links

Great Principles of Computer Science [info]
  • Computation
ACM K12 Curriculum [info]
  • Level I (Grades 3–5) Topic 11: develop a simple understanding of an algorithm
  • Level I (Grades K-12) Topic 12: Understand how to arrange (sort) information into useful order, such as a telephone directory.
New Zealand Curriculum [info]
  • Technology Level 1: Brief Development
    • Describe the outcome they are developing and identify the attributes it should have, taking account of the need or opportunity
  • Technology Level 1: Outcome Development and Evaluation
    • Investigate a context to communicate potential outcomes. Evaluate these against attributes; select and develop an outcome.
  • Technology Level 1: Planning for Practice
    • Outline a general plan to support the development of an outcome, identifying appropriate steps and resources