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Grade: Elementary
Subject: Computer

#3747. A Fun Alternative Way to Teach Children The Keyboard

Computer, level: Elementary
Posted Wed Jun 28 01:49:05 PDT 2006 by Georgina Farmer (georgie@nailitnow.com.au).
Fastest Typing Tutor Ever
Nail It Now, Port Melbourne, Australia
Materials Required: A4 paper (11 white, 2 red, 2 green, 2 blue and 3 orange), Black marker pen, Blu-Tack, Blackboard
Activity Time: Varies
Concepts Taught: Children learn the left side Home row

Preparation:

Create a body-sized (children) left side of the keyboard on the floor. An easy way to do this is to write the letters QWERTZXCVBG on 11 of the 13 white sheets of A4 paper, A and Animals on the 2 red sheets, S and Snow on the 2 green, D and Dig on the 2 blue and F, Food and Grass on the 3 orange

Blu-Tack the letter keys, QWERT, ASDFG, ZXCVB, to the floor in three rows to create the left side of the keyboard. On the remaining 2 white sheets, write Backspace and Space Bar. Then, add the Backspace key to the right and above the keyboard and the Space Bar below. Keep the Animals, Snow, Dig, Food and Grass keys handy

Procedure

Seat the children in a semi-circle around the keyboard

Have a short discussion about the Home keys on the left side of the keyboard. How many colored keys are in the middle row? What are they called? Why are they called the Home keys? What are the letters of the four home keys? Then, explain that ASDF is hard to remember and replace these letters on the keyboard with Animals, Snow, Dig and Food

Point out to the children that they have four fingers on their left hand and there are four Home row keys, so what finger hits the Animals key, the Snow key, the Dig key and the Food key?

Have them say aloud "Animals in the Snow Dig for Food" and hold up the correct finger when they say each key word (or, to be more realistic, tap their knee). Do this 10 times. To paint a picture in their minds, you could tell them that many animals eat grass and, in the snow, they would have to dig to get to their food

Choose four children to be the "fingers" for the first word (dad) and have them stand on the four home keys. Tell them now that our four fingers are on the Home row keys, we are ready to start typing

Tell the children the first word we are going to type is "dad", so the first letter is D. When I call out D, I want the D finger to jump. If the D finger jumps correctly, write D on the blackboard. Then, call out A and D. The rest of the class should hold up, or tap their knee with, the correct finger

If a child makes a mistake, explain that there's a key that will delete the incorrect letter and take us back to where we were. Choose one child to be the Backspace key for the duration of the game. This child jumps on the Backspace key and, then, sits down

Now we are going to type the word add. This time, when A has been successfully typed, write A on the blackboard right up against the previous word (dad) and ask the children what's missing. Choose one child to be the Space Bar. The Backspace child jumps on the Backspace key to remove the A and, then the Space Bar child jumps on the Space Bar

In turn, choose three more sets of four fingers to type the words: as, fad and sad

Now, introduce the letter G. Tell the children, oops, there's another letter in the middle row and we don't have any more fingers on the left hand, so how do we type G. Tell them the Food finger does double the work (groan) and moves over to G. Ask the children what food starting with G do many animals eat and, then, replace G on the keyboard with the orange Grass key. Instruct the Food finger to jump over to the Grass key and back to the Food key

In turn, choose three more sets of four fingers to type the words: gag, gas, sag

If time permits and you feel all the children know the Home row keys, cover the colored Home row keys with white paper and tell the children we are going to type without looking at the keys, but I am going to give you a little help. On the white paper covering the F key, draw a small oblong box at the bottom center of the key and tell the children there's an upraised ridge on the F key to help us place the fingers correctly on the Home row

In turn, choose three more sets of four fingers to again type the words: as, fad, sad, gag, gas and sag

Handout:
Paper with the words A...... in the S... D.. for F... like G.... Children to fill in the blanks

Comments:
Any feedback would be much appreciated: a better idea for creating the floor keyboard or anything else

In Lesson Plan 2, the children learn the top and bottom rows of the left side of the keyboard using more quirky association words