Skip to Content

Hour of Code, Unplugged.

You don't need computers to teach kids computational thinking, just imagination. Even if you have your Hour of Code project ready to go, you may want to keep this handy.

View original post at

Instruction Engineering:

Kids create instructions on how to make something. They have to be precise in their steps. After they are done with their instructions, they swap completed instructions with another team. Their goals include providing exact instructions, as well as following the other team’s written instructions precisely.

Materials Needed

Pencils or pens

How To

Students are divided into groups of 2 to 5.
They are given a topic, like “how to make a paper airplane.”
Their group’s goal is to write down the instructions for creating whatever topic you hand to them.
They are to write the precise sequences of actions so that someone unfamiliar with what they are making can reproduce it purely by following the steps they have outlined.

They do not share their topic with any other team. It’s a secret!
They are given 20 to 30 minutes to create their recipe (AKA, algorithm).
After their team is done, they swap instructions with another team.

The other team is to precisely follow the instructions handed to them with the goal of discovering what they are making, and to make it (if possible).

Facilitator’s Job

As the teacher, you may facilitate, but do not give out the answer.
Ensure that the team frequently tests their instructions as they go along.
You may assist them in uncovering some of their assumptions that haven’t clearly been communicated in their instructions.
Not only can you have fun with paper airplanes, you might find other topics interesting, like how to navigate a maze, make an origami object, draw a geometric shape, or write a letter of the alphabet (how to write the lowercase letter “a,” a capital “B,” etc).


Share your projects, pictures, and stories with us! 

Interesting for kids to unleash their imagination.