Computer History Lesson Plan

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Well, happy summer! I have been spending sometime revamping my lessons (who says teachers get summers off?!) One lesson that I want to include this year is about the history of the computer. This lesson is intended for my 5th grade computer class. You can make adaptions as you see fit!

Enjoy!
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Computer History
Class Period: 40 Minutes
Classes: 6-8


Day 1:
Introduction to computer history
Use Brainpop’s video (please note, you will need to have an account) to introduce the topic. http://www.brainpop.com/technology/computerscience/computerhistory/preview.weml


After the video, read and discuss the main questions that go along with this video:
Who made the first computer?


Was the Antikythera mechanism really the first computer?


What do we use computers for?


Activity:
Have the students chose one way technology has changed the way we work and compare it to how it was done in the past. For example, in the past people wrote letters to communicate. Today we use email.  


Have the students complete Read Write Think’s compare and contrast and select similarities and differences to follow the prompts given. Have students respond. http://www.readwritethink.org/classroom-resources/student-interactives/compare-contrast-30066.html


There is an awesome save option for your students to use if they do not have enough time to complete this task. Save if needed.


Day 2:
Introduction and Review: Discuss some highlights from Brain Pop’s Video on Computer History and the activity that the students need to complete: RRT Compare and Contrast organizer (if needed.)


Print and share.


Days 2 / 3-4:
Activity:
Discuss with students that they are going to begin research on the history of the computer using a guided Google Docs worksheet.
  • Make sure to “Share” the document with your students. Have them “Make a Copy” and “Share” it back to you.
  • Students will use the guided worksheet to discover the history of the computer.


Days 4-6 (possibly 7 or 8 if needed):


Introduction:
After students have completed their Computer History Google Docs Worksheet, the students will then create an info-graphic timeline from scratch using Piktochart found at: https://magic.piktochart.com/
Define and discuss the term: Info-graphic


  • Some examples of technology timeline info-graphics to show your students:


Activity:
Introduce Piktochart to students. Either Share and Make a Copy of the Student Assignment Requirements or print them out and pass them out to the students.
  • Demonstrate how to create an account.
  • Have students select Info-graphic, and new template/blank canvas.
    • Piktochart is an easy-to-use-tool. Before you introduce it to your students, I would suggest getting to know it’s features. I am a big proponent of allowing children to “Play” when introduced to a new tool in technology. After you have taught them the tools of the trade, allow them to “play” around for a few minutes to understand and learn Piktochart’s features.
  • Once the students have an excellent understanding of Piktochart, have them take their researched knowledge of Computer History and turn it into a info-graphic timeline.