Google CS First: Free, interactive coding lessons for your class

Ed Tech

Ed Tech | Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Google CS First: Free, interactive coding lessons for your class

Computer science is much more than just programming. It includes the study of computers, how they work, and how we can use them to solve problems. However, when we talk about computer science one piece of it comes to mind.

Coding. We can use the excitement and engagement from events like the Hour of Code to begin to bring coding into other content areas and show kids how much we can do with computer science.

How can we integrate coding into other content areas like math, science, and even language arts even if we aren't computer science experts ourselves?

The answer is easy! Google's CS First

The Hour of Code

The Hour of Code aims to get people all over the world interested in computer science. Are you and your students ready? Check out these ideas and activities for CS Ed Week.

20+ ways to celebrate the Hour of Code in ANY class


What is CS First?

Google's CS First is a completely FREE computer science curriculum that makes it easy for any teacher to bring computer science into any class. Students learn through self-paced video lesson tutorials using a block based coding language called Scratch

The lessons are hands-on for students and provide everything they need. Teachers can have as many students and classes as they want. 

8 easy ways to combine coding and content with CS First

You don't have to be a computer science expert or teach a coding class to use CS First. These activities integrate very easily into other subject areas and are perfect for taking "show what you" know options a step farther by integrating computer science as a choice.

Some of these one-hour activities are under the "hour of code" category, which make them perfect for introducing CS First to your students or to use during CS education week, but really you can use them all year long!

Animate a Name

A fun activity where students choose a name (their own or someone else's and animate the letters to make it come to life. 

Have students use the animate a name activity to share about a character from a book or a historical figure. This would make a great extension activity for any of these Novel HyperDoc units.

Interactive Presentation

In this activity students use a presentation they have already created (or make a new one) and make it interactive with Scratch.

Take any final presentation from any unit and add this option as a way for students to present! Such an easy way to add coding to class.

Create Your Own Google Logo

Similar to the animate a name activity, students will use programming to customize the famous Google logo. They can get very creative with the different letters!

Using the Earth Day activities ask students to research then share ways to help save the planet through their project. Try adding it to this Earth Day Every Day HyperDoc.

Pitch Your Passion

Students will use programming to share a project about something they care about and want to share with others.

This activity pairs great with PBL, genius hour or an engineering design unit. Add it this engineering design process HyperDoc.

Narration

This activity explores the different points of view in a story. Working in partners students take the familiar story of The Tortoise and the Hare and rewrite it in both first and third person.

After completing this project using The Tortoise and the Hare, have students choose another fable to retell with their partner.

Code Your Hero

A fun and cute activity where students choose their hero, someone from their life, and give them superpowers using programming! 

This activity would put a fun spin on teacher appreciation week! Ask students to choose a teacher that has made an impact on their life.

Dialogue

Using programming students will explore dialogue between to characters. They will need to incorporate wait time along with speech so that their conversation works!

This activity is such a fun way to bring characters to life. Try having students write a short comic then bring it to life using scratch!

Storytelling

This unit has multi-day, self-paced lessons giving students the opportunity to dive deeper into the world of computer science  through storytelling.

Use this unit as an option for students to publish a creative or narrative story they wrote themselves.

Get started with CS First today!

These are just some of the activities that are part of the CS First curriculum. There are many more, including more multi-day lessons that range from introductory to advanced. You can see the entire curriculum here.

If you aren't sure where to begin you can check out their curriculum finder to get started. 

No matter where you decide to start, with the hour of code activities or with an entire unit, your students will benefit from the experience of learning computer science. 

Head over to csfirst.withgoogle.com/login and sign up as a teacher to get started!

Going beyond the
Hour of Code

The Hour of Code is exciting, engaging, and fun. But what happens once the Hour of Code is over? Here are 20 FREE lessons to bring computer science into your classroom to stay.

Beyond the Hour of Code: 20+ free lessons for teaching computer science


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