Mobile Learning Lesson Plan

for Coding


Content Area: Coding/Computer Programming

Title: Teaching Indefinite Articles with Algorithms

Grade Level: 9 - 12

Adapted from Exploring Computational Thinking lesson licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.


Big Ideas: Algorithms can help us figure out everyday problems and can be applies in all subjects.

Essential Questions: How can you apply an algorithm to

Objective: English Language Arts - Conventions of Standard English

L1.1h - Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.

Summative Assessment: Students will create a simple quiz application using a mobile programming application to test their understanding of algorithms and indefinite articles.


In this lesson, students identify a pattern in the usage of ‘a’ and ‘an’ and write an algorithm that others can follow to correctly use these two indefinite pronouns, and they identify possible exceptions the general rule. This will help students start to understand how to apply coding concepts to practice grammar usage in writing and speaking. This lesson will also introduce the concept of algorithms.

Rule 1: Indefinite articles are used for previously unknown nouns that are being introduced into a dialogue or story and definite articles are used for nouns that have already been introduced (or are already known or are assumed to be known at the point of introduction to the conversation).

Hook: At the beginning of this lesson students will start by playing with App Inventor or Hopscotch before you give them the assignment. After they have had a chance to play with the tools, have students watch the following overview video that introduces the concept of algorithms:

What's an algorithm? - David J. Malan


Exercise 1

Students begin by completing six sentences with either ‘a’ or ‘an’. They should have a general sense of what ‘sounds right’ before working through these sentences, however they do not need to know the exact rule for using ‘a’ and ‘an’.

Fill in each blank below with ‘a’ or ‘an’:

1. I see ____ elephant.

2. She ate ____ apple.

3. He read ____ book.

4. I bought ____ ice cream cone.

5. Michelle bought ____ dog.

6. We saw ____ movie

Exercise 2

In this exercise students pair up and switch papers to try each other’s algorithms. They are likely to identify exceptions to the algorithms their classmates have written. Students will complete this exercise by improving upon their original algorithm so that it works for any exceptions that their partner encounters.

Instruct students to follow their partner’s algorithm exactly, even if it leads to incorrect results.

Students download and test the Practice English Grammar mobile application.

Exercise 3

In this exercise, students will build upon their understanding of algorithms to create a simple mobile application that tests indefinite articles.

Students review and then select one of the applications below to create a simple quiz application using the algorithms they created in Exercises 1 and 2.

Extended Practice

Now, have students create a simple quiz application that others can download and install on their mobile phones. To extend the concepts learned in the previous exercises, they will complete the App Inventor Quiz tutorial and customize it to create a grammar quiz of their own.




Android Mobile Device or Simulator

Internet Access