Learning Resource Type

Learning Activity

Algorithm Leap Frog: An Unplugged Coding Activity

Subject Area

Digital Literacy and Computer Science
Physical Education




In this unplugged coding activity, students will create a written algorithm for a partner to follow. The algorithm will provide directions to complete the following task: Start from your “frog home” and jump/leap/hop to the lily pads to reach the “frog food” in the middle of the pond, then provide directions on returning to your home. Students will work with a partner to create the algorithm and follow the algorithm using a variety of jumping actions.

This learning activity was created as a result of the ALEX - 2023 Science Course of Study Resource Development Summit.

    Digital Literacy and Computer Science (2018) Grade(s): 2


    Create an algorithm for other learners to follow.

    Unpacked Content



    • sequence


    Students know:
    • the sequence of events for a tasks are important.
    • sequence of events may be read and interpreted by other people or machines.


    Students are able to:
    • develop a sequence of events for a task that others can follow.


    Students understand that:
    • a task can be broken down into a sequence of smaller events or steps.
    Physical Education (2019) Grade(s): 2


    Use a variety of one-and two-footed take-offs and landings.


    Learning Objectives

    Learning Objectives

    • Students will create an accurate algorithm for a classmate to follow to reach a specific goal.
    • Students will use a variety of one- and two-footed take-offs and landings through an identified path.

    Attached Classroom Resources

    Activity Details

    1. Divide the students into partner groups using your selected method. Assign the “frog” and “frog director”. Assign each partner group a certain color of “frog food” to collect.
    2. Explain that the students will work together to write directions for the “frog” to travel from their “home” (hula hoop), towards the center of the “pond” (activity area) by jumping/leaping/hopping to the “lily pads” (poly spots), while collecting the “frog food” (yarn balls). The frog will collect one yarn ball, then return home to drop the food in the hula hoop, then return back to the pond to collect more food.
    3. Provide each partner group with the student handout (or blank paper or a digital device). 
    4. Instruct students to work with their partner to write directions to (1) travel from their frog home to the center area using a locomotor motion of their choice (jump, leap, hop, etc.) using only the lily pads, (2) pick up their assigned frog food color, and (3) bring it back to their team’s starting point.
    5. After each team has written their algorithms, direct the frog to go to their assigned home and the frog director to stand on the outside of the home.
    6. Begin the timer with your selected time frame for the activity.
    7. Throughout the activity time, the frog director should read the algorithm to the frog and the frog should follow the directions.
    8. When the time is up, have the frogs return “home” to their food collections. To make this a competitive activity, the team that collects the most food could be declared the winner, or the stuffed frog could have a favorite food color for that particular round. 
    9. Reset the activity space for the partners to switch roles.
    Assessment Strategies

    Assessment Strategies

    The teacher will review each group’s written algorithm to determine if it provides accurate directions to complete the given task. 

    The teacher will observe students while performing the locomotor tasks to evaluate if students were able to use a variety of one- and two-footed take-offs and landings as directed in the written algorithm. 


    After completing the first run of the program (the initial round of the activity), the students can work together to “debug” their program. They will discuss any issues they faced following the written algorithm and attempt to write an algorithm that overcomes those obstacles (DLCS18.2.4 Identify bugs in basic programming.).


    To provide additional support, the teacher can (1) provide a written algorithm and demonstrate how the frog will navigate the pond by following the directions (modeling) or (2) provide a word bank for students to use as they create their written algorithm (with words such as jump, leap, hop, forward, backward, left, right, pick up, etc.).

    Approximate Duration

    Total Duration

    16 to 30 Minutes

    Background and Preparation

    Background / Preparation

    Teacher Preparation:

    Set up the activity area as follows:

    • Hula hoops around the perimeter of the activity area. 
    • Poly spots dispersed throughout the center of the activity area, close enough for students to jump/leap/hop to each spot.
    • Frog food items scattered through the center of the activity area, close enough to the poly spots for students to reach. 
    • If the stuffed frog is being used, set it up in the center of the activity area. 

    Determine how students will be divided into partner groups. Larger groups can be created if needed. Determine how the “frog” (student traveling through the activity) and “frog director” (student reading the algorithm) will be selected. Determine the time frame for the active portion of the activity (between 3 to 10 minutes).

    If you are selecting to use the student handout, make at least one copy per group. A blank piece of paper could be used instead, or students could type their algorithms on a digital document. 

    Student Preparation:

    Students need to have basic, grade-level knowledge of algorithms (a process or set of rules to be followed in problem-solving operations). Students will need to know the difference between a jump (leaving the ground with two feet), leap (leaving the ground with one foot and covering a larger distance), and hop (leaving the ground with one foot and covering a shorter distance). 

    Materials and Resources

    Materials and Resources

    Teacher Materials

    • Lily pads: 60 poly spots
    • Frog homes: Hula hoops (preferably 1 per partner group)
    • Frog food: 60 colored beanbags, yarn balls, puffballs, etc.
    • Stuffed frog (optional)
    • Timer

    Student Materials

    • Student Handout: Algorithm Leap Frog or blank notebook paper or digital device with word processing software
    • Pencil

    Digital Tools / Resources