Education
Age Range: 14-16
Duration: 0-29 mins
• Mathematics

# Logo programming - creating algorithms

## Programming algorithms for drawing shapes

In this programming activity, students will use the programming language Logo to understand and create algorithms for drawing shapes. Through creating their own unique shapes via algorithms, students will see their code come to life on screen.

Logo is a simple computer programming language which can be used to control devices. For example, a robotic pen can be moved using a series of instructions or commands to create a drawing. There are many commands which can be used to control the pen. Storing a series of commands like this creates a simple program. The order of the commands in a program is vital. If it is in the wrong order, the program will not work as expected.

This is one of a set of resources developed to aid the teaching of the secondary national curriculum, particularly KS3. It has been designed to support the delivery of key topics within maths, engineering and computing.

## Activity: Programming algorithms for drawing shapes

The first part of this activity is intended to encourage students to examine a sequence of instructions, look for a pattern, and explain this pattern. The next problem asks the students to continue the pattern, making deductions about how the pattern will continue. Students are then challenged to produce a set of instructions for drawing different shapes before trying some designs of their own. They will be encouraged to use an online logo app like Papert to try out their instructions. Problem-solving questions will stimulate students to identify and extend a sequence, requiring reasoning and proof.

Download our activity overview and presentation for a detailed lesson plan for teaching students about logo programming.

## The engineering context

Algorithms form the backbone of many engineering processes, from automation and improving efficiency to data analysis and problem solving. As such, learning about algorithms prepares students for more advanced engineering studies.

Pythagoras' theorem and trigonometry are fundamental in multiple engineering fields such as civil engineering for structural design, electrical engineering for signal analysis, and mechanical engineering for understanding dynamics and mechanisms.

## Suggested learning outcomes

This lesson plan aims to cover potential GCSE content such as identifying and explaining patterns and sequences, understanding the exterior angles of shapes, and applying Pythagoras and trigonometry. In the process, students will also develop key problem-solving skills as they predict sequences, work out instructions, and discuss their reasoning. This activity will also give students a deeper appreciation for the role of algorithms in our daily lives.