After introducing children to the computer, and after they learn how to use the keyboard and mouse, teach them how to create documents in a word-processing program. Developing word-processing skills in children will give them tools they need in everyday life--for typing stories and letters, doing homework assignments, and communicating with family and friends online. These word-processing skills will be a valuable asset throughout the rest of their lives.
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Create a New Document
Show the children how to click on the new document button to open up a new page. Move the mouse over the new page and click on it to locate the cursor for typing. Let the children practice typing letters and numbers on the new page to get a feel for the keyboard.
Design a step-by-step lesson on how to set up the page for a new document. Navigate the children to the margins' settings and instruct them to set the top, bottom and sides to different margin widths to see how that changes the typing area on the page. Finally, set the margins to the standard one-inch measurement all around, and explain the importance of margin settings for printing and document processing.
Instruct the children to type a simple sentence or type it for them in upper case and lower case letters. Then demonstrate how typing with the caps lock on changes all of the letters to capital letters.
Show them how to hold down the left mouse button and drag it across their sentence to block it. Guide the children on how to navigate the mouse to click on the fonts menu. Show them how to choose fonts, set different font sizes, change fonts to bold or italics, and how to underline or change the fonts to different colours. They will see these changes occur in their blocked sentence.
Insert a Picture
Add an image to their word-processing document. Demonstrate how to click on the image icon in the word-processing program and how to select an image from the photo gallery on the computer.
Spelling and Grammar Check and Word References
Learning how to use the spellcheck to check their word-processing documents will help improve their writing skills. Have the children practice using this feature on a word-processing assignment.
Click on the word processor's spell-and-grammar-checking feature to search for errors once the assignment is complete, or create a document with many spelling and grammar mistakes and then check it for errors. Review the errors and suggest corrections with the children.
Saving and Printing a Document
Learning how to save and print a document will teach the children how to save their work for later use, both on a disk or drive and as a hard copy.
Explain how the printer cable transmits the document data from the computer to a printer. Demonstrate how to print a document from the word-processing program.
Closing and Opening a Document
After learning how to save a document, show the children how to close the document. Once it is closed, locate it on the computer drive or disk and open it back up. The children will learn that they can save their work and access it whenever they want to.
Additional word-processing exercises can include typing practice, prepared worksheets for the students to open and complete on the computer, online word-processing activities and quizzes, and teacher-prepared word-processing tests.
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