Computer Science Unplugged

Sorting Algorithms

What you will need:

How you can support your child

  • Sand or water

  • 8 identical containers

  • a set of balance scales

You can help out too! How?

  • Help get them set up and follow the instructions on the worksheet

  • Ask questions like:

    • Which sort do you think is better?

    • Why do you think that

Secret Guidance

This guidance is to help with steps 4 and 5:

4. The best way to find the lightest weight is to go through each object in turn, keeping track of the lightest one so far. That is, compare two objects, and keep the lighter one. Now compare that with another, keeping the lighter from the comparison. Repeat until all the objects have been used.

5. Compare the weights on the balance scales. This can easily be done with three comparisons, and sometimes just two will suffice—if the children realize that the comparison operator is transitive (that is, if A is lighter than B and B is lighter than C, then A must be lighter than C).


Watch this video to see an example of what you are trying to achieve:

Use this worksheet as a set of instructions:


Tell us all about it!

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