Interested in getting upper elementary or middle-school students excited about computer programming? Start by showing them this video about coding being “a superpower!” This is a great introductory hook.
Next, have your students create accounts on Scratch over at scratch.mit.edu. Scratch is a kid-friendly, accessible way to introduce students to the basics of coding. By allowing students to use an easy, color-coded system of blocks to do many of the things most commonly done in computer programming, students can begin to think like programmers without needing to actually learn an entire programming language. Last week, Scratch released a new version (Scratch 2.0) that allows students to work with Scratch online without needing to download anything, making Scratch more accessible than ever.