Abstraction Unplugged Activity

Guess what

Age: Not specified

Type: Unplugged

Curriculum Links to: Art

The Abstraction Unplugged Activity has been rated 5 stars


This is an unplugged activity in which pupils create simple models from modelling dough or draw quick sketches for a partner to guess what they are representing. In doing so they learn that they are ignoring unimportant details and only including that which is most important, and in so doing are abstracting. Pupils link this idea to what is and is not included in simple computer simulations and games.


  • I can say what is important and I must include.
  • I can say what is unimportant and I can ignore.
  • I can say how a computer program (for example, a computer simulation or game) includes what is important.


Informal teacher assessment of pupils during main task and plenary. Focus on understanding of:

  • Thinking what is important to include.
  • Thinking what can be ignored.
  • Being aware that thinking about what is ignored or included in computer simulations and games is an important aspect of design.


This lesson in your curriculum


  • Abstraction is part of the overarching aims of the computing curriculum which seeks to ensure that all pupils ‘can understand and apply the fundamental principles and concepts of computer science, including abstraction, logic, algorithms and data representation’

Art & Design

  • Pupils should be taught to improve their mastery of art and design techniques, including drawing, painting and sculpture with a range of materials (for example, pencil, charcoal, paint, clay)