Lesson 19: Determine the Concept


This series brings together concepts from previous lessons and gives students a chance to think critically about how they would solve each problem, but without telling them which concept to apply. Students will review basic algorithms, debugging, repeat loops, conditionals, while loops, and functions.


It's important for students to remember that computer science provides plenty of opportunities to be creative. Every topic can be combined with another to make something bigger and better.

In this lesson, students will use previously learned concepts together, allowing for a "big picture" view of programming projects. This lesson will also bridge any gaps in understanding of when to use certain programming tools over others.


Warm Up (10 min)

Main Activity (30 min)

Wrap Up (15 min)

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Students will be able to:

  • Recognize which programming concept to use to solve a given problem.
  • Describe the different ways one could solve a given problem.



Heads Up! Please make a copy of any documents you plan to share with students.

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Teaching Guide

Warm Up (10 min)


This lesson is meant to review previous concepts by mixing them together.

Take this time to ask students to discuss their favorite parts of the course so far.

  • What did they like learning about? Why?
  • What did they not like learning about? Why not?
    • If it was too difficult, would they be interested in doing more activities to better understand those concepts?
  • What was something really cool they got to make?
  • What is something they hope to make with code someday? What kinds of programming tools might they use to make that?

This discussion should help the students get into the "bigger picture" framework that this lesson is trying to teach. Ask the students how they would pair certain programming tools together like:

  • Loops and conditionals
  • Functions and events

Main Activity (30 min)

Course E Online Puzzles 2018 - Website

Because the concepts in this set of lessons are not explicitly given, students may face more frustration than usual. Make sure to walk around and do a "wellness check" on each student. If one student is struggling in some manner, pair them with another student in order to stimulate discussion between the two.

Wrap Up (15 min)


Having students write about what they learned, why it’s useful, and how they feel about it can help solidify any knowledge they obtained today and build a review sheet for them to look to in the future.

Journal Prompts:

  • What was today's lesson about?
  • How do you feel about today's lesson?
  • What is your favorite thing you have learned in your coding class so far? Why? How have you used that in programs lately?

Standards Alignment

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CSTA K-12 Computer Science Standards (2017)

AP - Algorithms & Programming
  • 1B-AP-08 - Compare and refine multiple algorithms for the same task and determine which is the most appropriate.
  • 1B-AP-11 - Decompose (break down) problems into smaller, manageable subproblems to facilitate the program development process.

Cross-curricular Opportunities

This list represents opportunities in this lesson to support standards in other content areas.

Common Core English Language Arts Standards

L - Language
  • 4.L.6 - Acquire and use accurately grade-appropriate general academic and domain-specific words and phrases, including those that signal precise actions, emotions, or states of being (e.g., quizzed, whined, stammered) and that are basic to a particular topic (e.g
SL - Speaking & Listening
  • 4.SL.1 - Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 4 topics and texts, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.
  • 4.SL.1.a - Come to discussions prepared, having read or studied required material; explicitly draw on that preparation and other information known about the topic to explore ideas under discussion.
  • 4.SL.4 - Report on a topic or text, tell a story, or recount an experience in an organized manner, using appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details to support main ideas or themes; speak clearly at an understandable pace.
  • 4.SL.6 - Differentiate between contexts that call for formal English (e.g., presenting ideas) and situations where informal discourse is appropriate (e.g., small-group discussion); use formal English when appropriate to task and situation.

Common Core Math Standards

MP - Math Practices
  • MP.1 - Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them
  • MP.2 - Reason abstractly and quantitatively
  • MP.4 - Model with mathematics
  • MP.5 - Use appropriate tools strategically
  • MP.6 - Attend to precision
  • MP.7 - Look for and make use of structure
  • MP.8 - Look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning
NBT - Number And Operations In Base Ten
  • 4.NBT.4 - Fluently add and subtract multi-digit whole numbers using the standard algorithm.
  • 4.NBT.5 - Multiply a whole number of up to four digits by a one-digit whole number, and multiply two two-digit numbers, using strategies based on place value and the properties of operations. Illustrate and explain the calculation by using equations, rectangular ar

Next Generation Science Standards

ETS - Engineering in the Sciences
ETS1 - Engineering Design
  • 3-5-ETS1-1 - Define a simple design problem reflecting a need or a want that includes specified criteria for success and constraints on materials, time, or cost.
  • 3-5-ETS1-2 - Generate and compare multiple possible solutions to a problem based on how well each is likely to meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.