For kids to correctly use computers they will need to become familiar with the keyboard and the different parts of a QWERTY keyboard. The name for this keyboard layout refers to the first six keys in the top row of letter keys. You can teach kids how to identify the parts of the QWERTY keyboard through a combination of lectures, games and hands-on experience.
Print out one diagram of the QWERTY keyboard for each child you are teaching about the keyboard. Use diagrams that have the letters, numbers and functions printed on the keyboard. Diagrams can be found on websites such as University of Bristol, Computer Hardware Explained and Education World.
Distribute the diagrams to each child. Give each child red, blue, green, yellow, orange and purple pencils.
Hold up a real keyboard to show to the children. Identify the letter keys, located in the centre of the keyboard. State that the keys are used to type letters and words that appear on the computer screen. Instruct the children to colour this area of their diagram red.
Point at the row of number keys as well as the 10-key number pad on the right side of the keyboard. State that the keys are used to enter numbers and calculations using the "+," "-," "*" and "/" keys. Instruct the children to colour the number sections blue.
Show the children the special keys on the left and ride side of the keyboard. Explain that each key serves such purposes as the "Shift" key capitalising letters or turning numbers into symbols. Colour these keys green.
State the purpose of the function keys and how they differ depending on the program being used on the computer. Explain that the keys are shortcuts to access information quickly. Colour these keys yellow.
Show the children the arrow keys on the bottom right of the keyboard. Tell the children these keys are used for moving their cursor up and down and left and right on the computer screen. Colour these keys orange.
Explain the "Home," End," "PgUp" and "PgDn" keys and how they relate to the arrow keys for navigation. Tell the children that these keys are used to quickly move large distances around a word processor screen. Colour these keys purple.
Split up the children into groups and assign each group a colour. Place each team at a computer with a QWERTY keyboard.
Hand out instructions to each group. Outline in the instructions a series of actions that must be performed using the keys for their keyboard section. For example, instruct the yellow team to access the help menu of a program by pressing F1. Allow each team to experiment on a real keyboard with the team's instructions.
Gather the children together and have each team show the other teams how to perform different processes on the keyboard. Encourage each child to perform the actions as described by the team.
Give prizes -- such as candy -- to each team after it has completed its lesson. This rewards learning.
If you are teaching only one child, have him practice different tasks on the keyboard and then have him show you how to perform the actions as if you are the student and he is the instructor.
Tips and warnings
- If you are teaching only one child, have him practice different tasks on the keyboard and then have him show you how to perform the actions as if you are the student and he is the instructor.