This lesson is intended to have young students explore areas of the keyboard that they may not normally pay attention to. Let's have some fun!
What you will need:
Puffy Stickers of marine life, scuba divers, etc.
A computer with a screen reader that has a keyboard help mode plus an open Notepad document
A piece of blue paper with “Keyboard Exploration” (in large print or Braille) written at the top of the page.
- Read an e-book/listen to an audiobook about exploring underwater. Discuss why people explore and what they may find underwater. Bonus: Discuss jobs in ecology, marine biology, etc. where one might need to explore the ocean.
- Pass out the snorkel glasses or make your own together. Optional: Use the scuba diving toy/ scuba set to give a sense of how these things feel and give students a chance to use their imaginations!
- Discuss how we can explore in everyday life- by using our senses! Discuss how we can explore with each of our senses. For this exercise, we will be using our senses to talk about our keyboards. What senses do you think underwater explorers are using?
- Now, explain that today we are going to explore our keyboards! What senses can we use to explore the keyboard? Pass out the piece of paper entitled “Keyboard Exploration”.
- Now, we explore the keyboard by typing and listening- What key do we press to make a period? Find 2 keys that will make the number 2. What does the Home key do? Find the Tilde. How do I move to the next line? Where is the Caps Lock key? Where is the Windows key? Where is Control? Where is Alt? Find the row of function keys. Find the Print Screen Key.
Explore the keyboard by touch- How is the space bar different from the other keys on the keyboard? Tell me how to find the arrow keys with my eyes closed? Find the F and J keys- describe how they feel different from other keys on the keyboard. What shape is the shift key? Where is the “six pack”? Where is the num pad? Where is the numbers row?
Explore mentally- What do you think the Page Down key will do? What do you think the Num Lock key does? The F1 key has a picture of a question mark on it- what do you think pressing F1 will do? What does Print Screen do? Which keys do I press to make an @ symbol?
For each one your students find on their own, give them a puffy sticker to represent the things they “found” while exploring to place on their Keyboard Exploration sheet.
If you are feeling brave (or silly), ask if we should smell or taste our keyboards. What do you think the keyboard would smell like? (So far, my favorite answer to this question has been “letters”.)
What do you think the keyboard would taste like? (Likewise, “my fingers” still makes me giggle.)
- **If your students are a little more advanced, have them find pictures of underwater scenes to describe to their friends. Find underwater sound files. Find videos about exploring underwater. Research careers that might result in underwater exploration.