Explain that arrays work like a dresser of clothing to help students understand this abstract data structure by relating it to structures they know.

  • Explain that each drawer in a dresser contains different types of clothing, but in the end they’re the same type of item (an item of clothing).
    • This is just like when you have an array of a particular type, it contains all the same type of item:
      • Clothing [ ] drawer = new Clothing [5];
      • drawer[0] = new Clothing("Socks");
      • drawer[3] = new Clothing("Shirts");
  • Help motivate indexing from zero by having students imagine labeling their drawers.
    • Labels should be numbers starting with zero.
    • Use a whiteboard to draw out this example to help students visualize.
  • Ask students to provide additional examples of structures arrays are like building off of this example to solidify their understanding of arrays.

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External Source

Interview with Liselot Ramirez