Software & Hardware: Teaching the Difference in the Elementary Classroom

I love the curiosity in elementary students, especially when it comes to technology and how things work. Naturally, the kids were super into this lesson. 

Here is a snapshot on how I taught the difference between software and hardware in my STEM classroom. I taught this to Kindergarten and 1st grade over the span of 3 days for 40 minute classes.  Of course, this can be adapted for your class and what works best for your kids. 

You can grab this entire {FREE} lesson, all packaged together nicely for you from my TeachersPayTeachers Store, Marvelous Ms M 

Day 1

-Watched video on BrainPop Jr.- Computers

-Introduced vocabulary- Hardware & Software

-1st Grade students built their own mini paper computer from Hello Ruby 

-Kindergarten students built their own mini tablet that I created for them which you can grab for your class here!

I did two different devices for a couple of reasons. I tried the computer with a Kindergarten class and the pieces were harder for them to cut and put together. It was a perfect fit for Kindergarten!

Also, if I were to teach this same lesson again next year, I didn't want to repeat the activity they were doing and I could just review the vocabulary.

As a tip when trying with your class, it works best if students color first, then cut out and glue.

My kids loved being able to customize their very own paper tablet. You can get the template for your kids here! 

Day 2

-Watched video by SciShow Kids- How Do Computers Work?

-Reviewed vocabulary- Hardware & Software

-Finish building paper computers/tablets

-Students can shared their learning by taking a picture in Seesaw and voice over the parts of the computer including the software and hardware. You can see my example I made while teaching below.

*You can get an extra free month of Seesaw Plus by using my exclusive link here!

Day 3

-Watched video by Socratica Kids- What are Computers for Kids

-Reviewed vocabulary- Hardware & Software

-Completed digital activity: Software & Hardware Sort. I had my kids complete this through Seesaw, but you can use whatever digital platform that works for your class. I created this for free to use with your students.

This was a quick lesson, but the kids LOVED it and having their own personal computer while instilling the important vocabulary: hardware and software.

Make sure to grab the free lesson that includes vocabulary and a digital activity above to use with you kids. You can also find the Build Your Own {Paper} Tablet to use with your kids as well.

Stay marvelous! 

Naomi from Marvelous Ms. Meredith 

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