This image shows a computer with code written on the screen and the text reads "Coding for Middle School" by STEM in the Middle.

Coding for Middle School

Introducing students to the basics of computer science can be tricky! This complete coding for middle school unit will show you how to start and develop a great foundation that your students can build on throughout any computer science course while having a lot of fun! With over 100 pages of print and digital resources, you’ll have 3 weeks of rigorous and engaging instruction ready to go.

Engage your students and explore the characteristics and components of a computer

Kick off the computer science unit with this introduction to computers lesson. First, students will explore misconceptions about computers through class discussion. Then students will explore the characteristics and components of real-world computers in a webquest activity. Finally, they will practice their new vocabulary and concepts in a puzzle activity. 

This image shows a "What is a Computer?" webquest and puzzle activity

Explore the fundamentals of coding for middle school

Next, let your middle school students explore and master the foundational skills that they will apply every time they write a code in your course and beyond.

  • Algorithms – Coding for middle school and beyond begins with understanding how to give step-by-step instructions for completing a specific task. Your students will have fun writing instructions for a classmate to perform various tasks and then observing as their classmates follow the instructions like a robot would.
This image shows a student worksheet on how to give instructions to a computer and colored pencils. The text reads "Writing algorithms: Lesson and Activities."
  • Flowcharts – Once your students understand how to write an algorithm, you can teach them how to represent it in a flowchart like real-world computer scientists! Students will learn standard flowcharting symbols and formats and then create their own flowcharts to represent various algorithms, including conditional statements.
This image shows a notebook, folder and pencil along with a worksheet titled "Algorithm Flowcharts."
  • Coding language – Finally, students will learn that code needs to be given in a programming language a computer will understand. They will solve various puzzles by creating an algorithm flowchart and translating the steps into coding language. Then they will apply their new coding skills in a virtual activity
This image shows a pencil and a worksheet titled "From Flowchart to Code." The text reads "Learn to Code: Lessons and Activities."

Explain the importance of computer science in our society

In these lessons, students will examine the increasing prevalence of computers in our communities. Through videos and text, students will learn about the uses of artificial intelligence, its benefits, and its limitations. Then they will form an opinion about the importance of learning to code and write an essay summarizing their thoughts.

This image shows discussion questions and film comprehension questions to go along with Nova Wonders: Can We Build a Brain?
This image shows a writing prompt and graphic organizer about the importance of learning to code. The text reads "Compute Science: STEM Writing Task."

Evaluating mastery of introductory computer science concepts

At the end of the unit, students will demonstrate their mastery of basic coding for middle school concepts by applying their new skills and knowledge to complete activities on a choice board. Finally, students will show what they know on a traditional paper or digital quiz.

This image shows a tablet with extension and review activities for computer science. The text states "Intro to Computer Science: Choice Board."
This image shows a pencil and worksheet titled "Intro to Computer Science: Quiz."

Want More?

Check out this article I wrote with 5 tips for teaching coding in middle school!

Buy and Save

Stop worrying about what to teach in coding for middle school and grab this unit today. You’ll get back your nights and weekends while knowing your students will be engaged in learning the fundamentals of computer science! You’ll save 20% by purchasing the full bundle of intro to computer science lessons and activities!

Computer Science lessons and activities for middle school

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Hi, I'm Trilby!

I help middle school educators like you facilitate high quality STEM lessons that engage and challenge students while saving time and energy.

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