A Fun Alternative Way to Teach Children The Keyboard
Lesson 1 Lesson 2 Lesson 3 Lesson 4
Lesson 1
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Subject: Computer (Keyboarding)
Grade Levels: Early elementary
By: Georgie Farmer
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Four lessons are all it takes for early elementary school students to learn the letters on the keyboard and correct finger use
Objective: In this lesson, students learn the LEFT side Home keys and G, backspace key and space bar
Application: Can be put into immediate practice, in a non-pressure, fun way, in any class that uses computers OR in any class without computers, eg, the game can be used to spell children's names and other familiar things or combined with a writing class, with half the class writing and the other half "typing" (a 5-minute refresher activity is all that is required)
Outcome Statement: After the four lessons, students will have developed correct typing skills (with 80% accuracy) to a level at least 2 years above their existing skill base
Time: 30 minutes (can be split into two 15-minute lessons)
Materials (Lessons 1 and 2)
1 plain shower curtain (LEFT side of the keyboard)
Clear sheet protectors (15)
Card Stock paper (suggested size 8.5 x 11): white (11) red (6) green (5) blue (6) orange (9). Only use 4 colors
1 white marker pen (or white pencil)
Electrical tape
Blackboard or whiteboard
Cardboard or laminated keyboards for non-participants (optional)
Props to make the lessons more lively (optional)
1 flower pot, 1 small spade and 1 small Easter egg, 1 raw carrot (cut into small pieces), 1 Teddy biscuit, some treats
Preparation (Lessons 1 and 2)
On the shower curtain, tape 15 clear sheet protectors (leave top free to create a pocket) in 3 rows of 5 (in the same layout as the LEFT side of the keyboard)
On 11 white cards, write: Q W E R T Z X C V B G
On 6 red cards, write: A Animals Q Z Quick Zoo
On 5 green cards, write: S Snow W X White
On 6 blue cards, write: D Dig E C Easter Chocolate
On 9 orange cards, write: F Food Grass R V Raw Vegetables Teddy Biscuits (draw a "bump" on the F key)
Create a backspace key and space bar
Lesson 1
Insert the 15 LEFT side letter cards (white Q W E R T Z X C V B G red A green S blue D orange F) into their correct pockets and keep the 5 color word keys Animals Snow Dig Food Grass handy. Tape the backspace key and space bar in top right corner of keyboard
Seat the students in a semi-circle around the LEFT side keyboard on the floor
Have a short discussion about the four color keys. What are the letters? What row are they on? How many fingers do you have on your LEFT hand and how many color keys are there on the LEFT side of the keyboard? OK, so what finger types A? S? D? F?
The ASDF keys are so important they have a name. Why are they called the Home keys? You leave home to come to school and, then, you go back home. Your four fingers leave ASDF to type a letter and, then, come back home to ASDF
The F key is special. It has a little something extra to help you place your fingers on the Home keys. Here, you could pass around a laptop and let the students feel the "bump" on the F key
Replace ASDF on the keyboard with Animals, Snow, Dig and Food. ASDF is hard to remember, so we are going to say aloud "Animals in the Snow Dig for Food". You could say here that many animals eat grass and, in the snow, they would have to dig for food
Choose four students to be the first four "fingers" and stand on ASDF, with the F finger leading the way. Choose two more students to be the backspace key and space bar, to be called upon when needed
Have the class say aloud "Animals in the Snow Dig for Food" and, this time, have each of the four "fingers" jump when they say their association word. The rest of the class can tap out the keys on cardboard or laminated keyboards. Do this 10 times. You will be amazed at how quickly they remember the keys
NOW, WE START "TYPING". The first word is "add". When you call out A, the A finger jumps and you write A on the whiteboard. Then, call out D and D. If a finger makes a mistake, call on the backspace finger to jump on the backspace key and, then, sit down
In turn, choose four more sets of four fingers to type the words: as dad fad sad. At the end of each word, have the space bar finger jump on the space bar and, then, sit down
AT THIS POINT, you can end this lesson and, in the next lesson, refresh the above and, then, finish the lesson below
But, wait, there's another letter in the middle row and we don't have any more fingers on our LEFT hand. So, how do we type G? The special Food finger does double the work (groan) and moves over to G
Replace G on the keyboard with Grass. Have the class say aloud "Animals in the Snow Dig for Food like Grass" and have each finger jump when they say their association word. The Food finger moves over to G and, then, back to F. Do this 10 times. It would be good to give the Food finger a reward because he/she is doing double the work
NOW, WE START "TYPING". The first word is "gag". When you call out G, the Food finger moves over to G and, then, back to F. You write G on the whiteboard and, then, call out A and G
In turn, choose two more sets of four fingers to type the words: gas sag
Suggested homework:
Give the students a sheet of paper with the words A...... in the S... D.. for F... like G.... and have them fill in the blanks. If they have a computer at home, they could use the F "bump" key to place their fingers on the Home keys and, then, type ASDFG 10 times
For all computer work, we strongly recommend placing removable adhesive dots on the alpha keys to prevent students looking at the keys. The added advantage is that teachers and parents don't need to continually monitor students' keyboard work. The "bump" F and J keys should be colored to help students place their fingers correctly
In Lesson 2, students learn the top and bottom rows of the LEFT side of the keyboard using quirky association words
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