CS Fundamentals Unplugged

CS Fundamentals Unplugged

We've compiled a list of all of our unplugged lessons for you to use in your classroom. Now you can teach the fundamentals of computer science, whether you have computers in your classroom or not! Try using these lessons as a stand alone course or as complementary lessons for any computer science course.

Ages 4+, English only


Each of these activities can either be used alone or with other computer science lessons on related concepts.

2019-20 CS Fundamentals Curriculum

2019 Course A-F Curriculum Book

Course A-F Supply List

Course Amazon Lists

Resources for older versions of CS Fundamentals

2018 Course A-F Curriculum Book

2017 Course A-F Curriculum Book (v2)

Course 1-4 Curriculum Book

CSF Flashcards


Concept Lesson Resources
Digital Citizenship

Crowdsourcing

This lesson will show students how helpful teamwork can be.

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Digital Citizenship

Your Digital Footprint

Students will learn that the information they put online leaves a digital footprint or “trail.” [Common Sense Education]

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Common Sense Education Teacher Prep Guide
Digital Citizenship

Going Places Safely

Students find out that they can go exciting places online, but they need to follow rules to remain safe. [Common Sense Education]

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Common Sense Education Teacher Prep Guide
Digital Citizenship

Screen Out The Mean

This helps children recognize that it is essential to tell a trusted adult if something online makes them feel angry, sad, or scared. [Common Sense Education]

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Online Safety Poster
Digital Citizenship

Digital Citizenship

Some information is not safe to share online. This lesson will help you learn the difference between safe and private information.

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Digital Citizenship

Powerful Passwords

Students learn password tips, test their existing passwords with an interactive game, and create new passwords using guidelines for powerful passwords.

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Digital Citizenship

Power of Words

Students explore ways to handle cyberbullying and how to respond in the face of upsetting language online.

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Common Sense Education Teacher Prep Guide
Digital Citizenship

Private & Personal Information

This lesson is about the difference between information that is safe to share online and information that is not.

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Common Sense Education Teacher Prep Guide
Digital Citizenship

Digital Sharing

Students will learn the proper way to handle the use of content that is not their own.

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Impacts of Computing

The Right App

Students exercise empathy and creativity to sketch their own smartphone app that addresses the needs of an imaginary user.

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Impacts of Computing

Designing For Accessibility

In this lesson, students will learn about accessibility and the value of empathy through brainstorming and designing accessible solutions for hypothetical apps.

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Sequencing

Relay Programming

This activity will begin with a short review of "Graph Paper Programming," then will quickly move to a race against the clock, as students break into teams and work together to write a program one instruction at a time.

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Sequencing

Happy Maps

This activity will help students gain experience reading and writing in shorthand code.

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What is an algorithm?How to explain algorithms to kids
Sequencing

Happy Maps (Extended)

This extended unplugged lesson brings together teams with a simple task: get the "flurb" to the fruit. Students will practice writing precise instructions as they work to translate instructions into the symbols provided. If problems arise in the code, students should also work together to recognize bugs and build solutions.

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What is an algorithm? How to explain algorithms to kids
Sequencing

Move It, Move It

This lesson will work to prepare students mentally for the coding exercises that they will encounter over the length of this course.

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My Robotic Friends Fuzz Family Frenzy
Sequencing

My Robotic Friends Jr.

This teaches students the connection between algorithms and programming, as well as the valuable skill of debugging.

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Sequencing

Graph Paper Programming

In this lesson, students will program their friend to draw pictures.

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Loops

Getting Loopy

Students will dance their way to a better understanding of how to use repeat loops.

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Loops

Happy Loops

Students will be driven to want an easier way to solve problems using loops.

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Loops

My Loopy Robotic Friends

Here, students learn the simplicity and utility of loops by “programming” their friends using the language from "My Robotic Friends." Once loops are introduced, students will find that they can build bigger structures faster.

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Loops

My Loopy Robotic Friends Jr.

Using the language from ‘My Robotic Friends’. Students find that they can build big structures faster using loops.

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Loops

For Loop Fun

`For` loops have extra structures built in to create powerful & dynamic code.

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Events

The Big Event

Students will learn that events are a great way to make their program interactive.

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Events

The Big Event, Jr.

This shows that events are a great way to add interactivity to a sequential algorithm.

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Binary

Binary Bracelets

This lesson helps demonstrate how it is possible to take something from real life and translate it into a series of ons and offs.

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Binary

Binary Images

Learn how computers store pictures using simple ideas like on and off.

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Conditionals

Conditionals with Cards

It's time to play a game in which you earn points only under certain conditions.

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Internet

The Internet

In this lesson, students will pretend to flow through the Internet, all the while learning about connections, URLs, IP addresses, and the DNS.

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Functions

Songwriting

This lesson will help students intuitively understand why combining chunks of code into functions can be such a helpful practice.

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Functions

Functional Suncatchers

In this lesson, students will make a suncatcher out of string, beads, and a special charm. The students will follow a series of repetitive steps, then be asked to identify certain sets of “skills” that are duplicated several times. Once those skills are defined, they will be called from a main program and the whole beautiful process of creation will be recorded on a single sheet of paper. The final program will be geared toward the entire class, whatever their type of string, beads, and charms. To effectively allow for this, students will need to “abstract out” the details of their specific materials and create vague terms for an individual’s supplies. This use of generic placeholders is a wonderful introduction to variables.

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Functions

Songwriting with Parameters

One of the most magnificent structures in the computer science world is the function. Functions (sometimes called procedures) are mini programs that you can use over and over inside of your bigger program. This lesson will help students intuitively understand why combining chunks of code into functions is such a helpful practice, and how they can use those structures even when chunks of code are slightly different.

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Variables

Envelope Variables

This lesson explains what variables are and how to use them.

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Algorithms

Dice Race

In this lesson, students will relate the concept of algorithms back to real-life activities by playing the Dice Race game. The goal here is to start building the skills to translate real-world situations to online scenarios and vice versa.

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Algorithms

My Robotic Friends

Using a predefined symbol key, your students will figure out how to guide one another to accomplish specific tasks without using any verbal commands. This segment teaches students the connection between symbols and actions, the difference between an algorithm and a program, and the valuable skill of debugging.

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Algorithms

Real-Life Algorithms: Paper Planes

In this lesson, students will relate the concept of algorithms back to everyday activities. After discussing algorithms, students will make paper airplanes using an algorithm. The goal here is to start building the skills to translate real world situations to online scenarios and vice versa.

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Algorithms

Real Life Algorithms: Plant a Seed

In this lesson, students will relate the concept of algorithms back to everyday, real-life activities by planting an actual seed. The goal here is to start building the skills to translate real-world situations to online scenarios and vice versa.

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Algorithms

Tangrams

This lesson shows us something important about algorithms. As long as you keep an algorithm simple, there are lots of ways to use it. However, if you want to make sure everyone produces the same outcome, then your algorithm needs more detail. Students will learn the difference between a detailed and general algorithm while playing with tangrams.

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Computational Thinking

Computational Thinking

For this activity, no instructions are provided. Instead, students will use examples of what imaginary players have done to figure out how to play the game. This lesson gives students the opportunity to practice the four arts of computational thinking (decomposition, pattern matching, abstraction, and algorithms) in one cohesive activity.

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Computational Thinking

Computational Thinking with Monsters

With nothing but paper and markers, students will learn the four steps of computational thinking. After a brief introduction, students should be split into groups where they will have to create directions for other students to draw a specific monster (from a catalog of pre-selected monsters). The entire task must be decomposed, then teams will analyze all monsters in the catalog for patterns, abstract similar details from the monsters, then use that information to create an algorithm (directions) for another team to draw a certain monster. Teams will then switch algorithms with another group and draw the monster based on what that algorithm indicates. Is the drawing what the original team intended?

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Debugging

Unspotted Bugs

This lesson will guide students through the steps of debugging. Students will learn the mantra: "What happened? What was supposed to happen? What does that tell you?"

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Persistence

Building a Foundation

New and unsolved problems are often pretty hard. If we want to have any chance of making something creative, useful, and clever, then we need to be willing to attack hard problems even if it means failing a few times before we succeed. In this lesson, students will be building a structure with common materials. The structure will be tested on its ability to hold a textbook for more than ten seconds. Most students will not get this right the first time, but it's important they push through and keep trying.

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Class Dojo: Growth Mindset videosKhan Academy: Growth Mindset
Persistence

Stevie and the Big Project

When students run into a barrier while answering a question or working on a project, it’s so easy for them to get frustrated and give up. This lesson will introduce students to the idea that frustration can be an important part of learning. Here, frustration is presented as a step in the creative process, rather than a sign of failure. This lession can be done over one or two class sessions. If you have more time, feel free to draw out the building and revising phase of the Marble Run activity.

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Abstraction

Mad Glibs

Abstraction is one of the most important skills for a computer scientist to understand. It simplifies problems and prevents unnecessary repetition. A good coder uses abstraction just about every time she creates a program. This activity will have your students analyze stories for differences so that they can abstract them away. Those abstracted stories become templates for fun and crazy new ones.

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