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Baking with Algorithms

By Alyssa Moore 60+ minutes
Grades 4-6
English Language Arts,
  • Programming
  • Computing and Networks
  • Design
Tools & Languages

Key Coding Concepts

  • Algorithms
  • Debugging
  • Sequences



A step-by-step set of operations to be performed to help solve a problem.



Identifying a series of steps necessary to complete a task.



Finding problems in code and solving them.

Students learn about the concepts of algorithms and sequence by looking at and using recipes. In the first part of the lesson students take different parts of a recipe and put them in the correct order. In the second part of the lesson, students follow the correct sequence of the recipe to make cookies.


  • Cookie ingredients, bowls, measuring cups, recipe handout, an oven

Before the lesson…

  • Print out a recipe and cut out ingredients. Then, cut each instruction step out separately. (Have enough for your class to be placed in groups of four)
  • Have ingredients set out with proper measuring cups
  • Have cookie sheets prepared with parchment paper
  • Gathering volunteers and putting students in small groups would be beneficial


Ask: When we are making cookies we have all these steps, can we do them in any order, or is the sequence of instructions important?


  1. Divide students into groups of 4 and hand out cut up Chocolate Chip Cookie instructions.
  2. Ask students to put steps in a logical sequence. Once correct, have them glue it on a paper.
  3. Hand out ingredients sheet.
  4. Have students in groups make their recipe following the recipe and algorithm they put in the proper sequence.
  5. When the sequence is complete, have each group place their cookie dough on sheets you prepared.
  6. Put cookies in the oven, talking to the class about the proper temperature and timing. Start a timer.
  7. Enjoy cookies with the class!

Assess students' ability to work collaboratively in a group and evaluate their cut and paste algorithm (e.g. is the sequence in the correct order?).

Coding and English

While cookies are baking, have students think of a task they do every day and write out the “algorithm” for that task (e.g. brushing teeth). Have students cut out each step, trade with a partner and see if they can put each other's algorithms in the correct sequence.


Have each student share a favourite family recipe and create a class cookbook.


Explore other recipes with a focus on measurement. Challenge students to rewrite the recipe if they half or double the measurements.

Design and Computing & Networks (Hardware and Software)

Robotic Chef does all the cooking for you (Tech Insider, 2017)

A good egg: robot chef trained to make omelettes (University of Cambridge, 2020)

Teach lessons that are tied to your existing curriculum!


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    The K-12 Computer Science Framework

    Although learning how to build digital projects is a key part of Computer Science education, students should also learn a wider set of skills and competencies that will help them to harness the power of digital technologies as both creators and consumers. A comprehensive approach to K-12 Computer Science education includes learning about the following five focus areas:

    View Framework ➝


    By the end of high school, students should be able to create a simple computer program.

    Computing and Networks

    By the end of high school, students should understand and be able to use the tools and devices commonly used to build digital projects.


    By the end of high school, students should be able to explain how we use computers to create, store, organize, and analyze data.

    Technology and Society

    By the end of high school, students should be able to explore the ways in which technology and society have mutually shaped each other.


    By the end of high school, students should be able to apply design principles to the digital projects they create.