Elementary School Model Lessons

The goal for providing model lessons is to share examples of how computational thinking and computer science practices integrate into curriculum and enhance the teaching of Tennessee Academic Standards. The model lessons linked below demonstrate a balance between plugged (needing a computing device) and unplugged (not needing a computing device) activities. Many of the strategies you will see demonstrate the use of computational thinking and can be applied across contents. We hope you are inspired from the model lessons to make meaningful computational thinking and computer science connections with your own curriculum.

Title: Pattern Recognition and Rhyming
Grade: K
Content: English Language Arts
Overview: Using Margaret Wise Brown’s book Goodnight Moon, students will use pattern recognition to identify rhyming words in a story and algorithmic thinking to explain their step-by-step process.

Title: Algorithms in the Design Process
Grade: 1
Content: English Language Arts and Social Studies
Overview: The students will listen to the text Balloons Over Broadway written by Melissa Sweet. This
story tells the true story of the origins of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and information about the puppeteer who designed the first balloons. Students will write an algorithm, a step-by-step process, to create a balloon for the parade.

Title: Classifying Polygons and Quadrilaterals
Grade: 3
Content: Math
Overview: Students will determine if a shape is a polygon, and students will apply their knowledge of a flowchart to determine the correct order of thinking when analyzing the attributes of various quadrilaterals.

Title: Finding the Area of Rectilinear Decomposition
Grade: 3
Content: Math
Overview: Students will break apart, or decompose, rectilinear figures into two rectangles. They will find the area of each rectangle and add them to find the total area of the original figure. 

Title: The Case of Cause and Effect
Grade: 3
Content: English Language Arts and Science
Overview: Students will use cause and effect statements to create conditionals which include if-then statements.

Title: Cardinal Directions and Algorithms
Grade: 3
Content: Social Studies
Overview: Students will write an algorithm incorporating cardinal directions to move students on a grid to a specific destination. Students will use pair-programming when they test, compare, and debug their algorithms.

Title: Wall Art and Algorithmic Thinking
Grade: 4
Content: Visual Art
Overview: In this lesson, students will explore Sol LeWitt’s Wall Art in which he created the art by writing a list of instructions that were later executed in museums and galleries by curators. This form of artmaking parallels the creation of algorithms by computer scientists.

Title: Understanding Earth’s Seasons Using Patterns and Models
Grade: 5
Content: Science
Overview: In this lesson students identify patterns within data from an investigation and computational models to determine which season Earth is experiencing. Students will be able to explain how the tilt of the Earth causes seasons.