Unit Planning in Computer Science

Writing Lessons for a Computer Science class is a little harder than a typical classroom. When I taught science, in my head, the concepts were simple, succinct, and the answers were black and white. While I know this is not true for the real world in science, but at a 7th grade science level, there are not too many opportunities for variance.

Photo by Joe Pregadio on Unsplash

All students in your class, tend to learn the same topic and they have a set number of outcomes that they have to achieve.  Except for the few Project Based Learning(PBL) Units, filtered in the year, students are often exploring the topics as "deep" as the teacher allows.

When it comes to variance, there is not that much difference in the learning. The same happens at the basic level when learning how to code.  We learn loops, conditionals, algorithms, syntax, etcetera but the deep dive beyond the concepts is limited. We practice unplugged, and guided activities. That is until, we process and start to use the concepts.

In science, this processing of concepts happens too, sometimes in High School, but a lot of times during lab research in college. Students "use" the concepts, discover  new concepts and develop new learning along the way.

What I have learned from coding, is that this opportunity of making, learning and developing happens at a much younger age. Kids can create their own programs, make their own games, develop programs that are not prescribed with a known answer. The deep learning happens at a pace, often not controlled but facilitated by the teacher.

Here are a few lesson/unit plans outlines of variable age levels that I have written. These do not contain step by step lesson plans but a generalized outlook of learning.  I have used these lessons during summer and school.

Microbit LED Challenge

Exploring Python Libraries

Teaching Algorithms and Sorting

Version Control Lesson


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