Section Title  Primary information  Description and Notes  Suggested resources 

Lesson Length  The expected lesson length will be approximately one hour 
Some variation possible. Assessment Level 1 

Students  The lesson is suitable for KS3 and KS4 students  Since this is a new specification, the lesson is suitable for Year 7 to 9 students and differentiated by outcome  
Overall Focus  The lesson focus will start to look in more detail at algorithms, especially the variables that make them work  This lesson will begin to introduce the idea of the term variable and how this is used in algorithms and computer programs 
Lesson Links: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39 
Key words  algorithm, abstraction, programming language, instruction, open source, digital, file types, variable  These words need to be reinforced throughout the series of lessons  
Assessment  change variables in an algorithm and predict the effect  Evidence here will be student's reflecting on what they understand and assessor observations  
Key Questions  Some questions to get learners thinking about the topics  Looking at the way variables are used in algorithms to make them work more efficiently  What examples can they think of to understand variables? If they go on holiday, what variables are important when it comes to changing their money? What variables do they need to think about for their life choices: more enjoyable job; more money? 
Learning Objectives 

Students need to see and try a number of systems with variables to see their impact and manipulation 
If you are using the Learning Machine learning system, students can add their comments and material to this site as evidence of their growing understanding. The site, if used consistently, will show progression via charts of activity and outcomes. 
Teaching and Learning Elements 

Students need to be shown some of the ways variables are used and how predictions depend on them in many areas. 

Lesson Structure  Possible structure 

This German website allows you to change variables in a simulated motorway to see the effects. Increase the speed and density and see how much the traffic jams increase. This well known site uses a lot of algorithms. The password generator we looked at in an earlier lesson also uses an algorithm to find the best password for users based on factors such as mixing capitals and small letters, numbers, symbols etc. These are variables. See how it changes by changing the variables. The PedSim software can be installed to simulate how people crowd together. This online webpage allows you to change variables and see their effect on Tsunamis. These are premade models, but they can see their effect. Change the viscosity and gas on your own Volcano and see the effects. What if a meteor comes to Earth? Change the variables (size, weight, speed, impact angle) and see what happens. Stress to students the importance of types of variable. In this simulation, the fixed element is that it will hit earth, the changeable ones are the speed and weight etc. Students should be able to understand that a variable is a changeable quantity. 
Homework  Get students to write a list of variables that can be used to predict the weather.  Students can vary their homework depending on their level of understanding  Get students to document their recipes on their portfolio system for assessment 