Use linked carabiners to introduce the structure of linked lists and help students visualize the concept.

  • Attach a climbing knot to a carabiner (as shown in the image at the bottom of this tip).
    • The climbing knot at the end of the chain denotes the "null object" signifying the end, or tail, of the list.
    • The first attached carabiner is the first node, head, in the linked list.
  • Attach additional carabiners to demonstrate adding nodes.
  • You can tape slips of paper to each carabiner to serve as data.
  • The image below represents a singly linked list.

    carabiners attached to a climbing knot

More about this tip

External Source

"Non-Programming Resources for an Introduction to CS" by Joseph Bergin, Myles McNally, Mike Goldweber, Charles Kelemen, Tom Naps, Chris Power, and Stephen Hartley.