Exemplary Unit and Lesson Plans for K-12 Educators

Developed by teachers, explore this collection of teaching ideas that showcase integration of technology into classroom projects for all ages and most subjects.

Showcase Plans for Ages 5-7

The first of a three-course set developed by Code.org, this unit plan introduces elementary school students to computer programming through engaging videos and hands-on exercises.

Subjects: Math, Arts, English Language, Computers
Key Learnings: Computer Programming concepts
Time Needed: 18 lessons, 25-45 minutes each

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In this unit, students plan a healthy diet, learn about the food pyramid, interview classmates about food choices, and create a graph based on the information gathered.

Subjects: Science, Math
Key Learnings: Data Analysis, Graphing
Time Needed: 3 weeks, 45 minutes per day

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Students become experts on bears by engaging in comparison activities including comparing themselves, the habitats, size and needs. The students then apply their expertise by making a guide for children who visit the local zoo.

Subjects: Life Science, Report Writing
Key Learnings: Comparison, Measurement, Graphing
Time Needed: 3-4 weeks, 40-min lesson, 3x per week

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Students study their family history and differentiate between long ago events and recent ones. The unit culminates in students creating family history time capsules that preserve the past for the future

Subjects: Social Studies, Math, Language Arts
Key Learnings: Tracing History, Comparison, Analysis
Time Needed: 3-4 weeks

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Additional Lesson Plans for Ages 5-7

Lesson Title Summary of Lesson Support Materials
Unlocking Possibilities This engaging introduction to the fundamentals of computing, programing and electronic design opens young students’ eyes to the limitless possibilities unlocked with circuits and computer programming. Lesson Plan - Unlocking Possibilities
How Many Numbers are in My Name? Students will conduct research and solve the problem of how many letters are in their name. They will use technology to share their work with others. Lesson Plan - How Many Numbers are in My Name?
Learn Computer Science - 2 Students learn computer programming skills, and then put those skills to the test solving real problems and creating games, art, and stories they can share. Unit Plan - Learn Computer Science -2
Monster Swap Students create unique monsters and then hone their writing skills by writing descriptions for cyber pals who will try to re-create the students' beasts. Unit Plan - Monster Swap
Multimedia Morning Mania A multimedia slideshow focuses students' attention on academics as they arrive at school with an engaging and entertaining way to introduce concepts and skills. Unit Plan - Multimedia Morning Mania
Pondwater and Pollywogs Students rear frogs from eggs and share their expertise in an informative brochure for visitors at a new amphibian exhibit at the local zoo. Unit Plan - Pondwater and Pollywogs
Seasoning The School Year Grade school botanists and climatologists investigate seasonal changes, and create class books for the National Arbor Day Foundation. Unit Plan - Seasoning the School Year

Showcase Plans for Ages 8-10

Young inventors put their knowledge of simple machines to the test as they create new, labor-saving machines of their own.

Subjects: Science, Math
Key Learnings: Simple Machines, Compound Machines, Mechanical Design
Time Needed: 4-5 weeks, 45 min lesson, 3x per week

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Students investigate the role of electricity in their environment as they learn to create series and parallel circuits. Their final project has them apply their learnings to engineer an electronic game board.

Subject: Science
Key Learnings: Static and Current Electricity, Circuits
Time Needed: 3 weeks, 60 minutes per day

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This engaging introduction to the fundamentals of computing, programming and electronic design opens young students’ eyes to the limitless possibilities unlocked with circuits and computer programming.

Subjects: Science, Technology & Engineering, Visual Arts
Key Learnings: Types and Uses of Electrical Components
Time Needed: 1-2 hours

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Students travel the globe to see how culture impacts the story of Cinderella. They analyze many versions of this classic tale, study character development, and rewrite it from another point of view.

Subjects: Language Arts, Social Studies
Key Learnings: Cultural Literacy, Geography, Fairy Tales
Time Needed: 6 weeks, 50-minutes lessons daily

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Additional Lesson Plans for Ages 8-10

Lesson Title Summary of Lesson Support Materials
Handy Work Students learn the basics of human biology (the muscles of the hand) and create a practical computer program to make a hand move. Lesson Plan - Handy Work
African Adventure Safari Student naturalists help safari guests learn about diversity, interdependence, and wonder of life in the African wild. Unit Plan - African Adventure Safari
Exploring Cultures Through Folktales This lesson encourages students to work collaboratively in small groups, compare three re-tellings of Little Red Riding Hood and create a version of Little Red Riding Hood based on their culture or neighborhood. Unit Plan - Exploring Cultures through Folktales
Flat Stanley By sending a flat friend on vacation, children learn about life in other countries and get an opportunity to host flat travelers from around the world. Unit Plan - Flat Stanley
Float that Boat Student teams design new boats that will float and prepare proposals to market their boats. Unit Plan - Float that Boat
Fractions Made Visual Students create and share multimedia presentations or newsletters that demonstrate the importance of knowing fractions in their chosen profession. Unit Plan - Fractions Made Visual
From Sea to Sea Students take on the role of Chamber of Commerce employees and develop informational brochures for a local city. Unit Plan - From Sea to Sea
Healthy Oceans, Healthy Planet Students become marine biologists and oceanographers, offering testimony to the United Nations about the health of various ocean ecosystems. Unit Plan - Healthy Oceans Healthy Planets
Learn Computer Science 2 Students learn computer programming skills, and then put those skills to the test solving real problems and creating games, art, and stories they can share. Unit Plan - Learn Computer Science 2
Learn Computer Science 3 Students who have completed course 2 will take their skills further to solve more complex problems, ultimately creating an interactive game to share. Unit Plan - Learn Computer Science 3
Red Light, Green Light Students collect and analyze traffic data in the area around their school and they think of ways to make everyone safer. Unit Plan - Red Light Green Light
The Great Bean Race Young botanists investigate plant growth as they compete in a lima bean stalk growing competition with students from other geographic locations. Unit Plan - The Green Bean Race

Showcase Plans for Ages 11-14

In this unit, students learn about the world of criminal investigation and learn how forensic scientists collect, analyze, and process evidence as they prepare to solve their classroom "crime".

Subjects: Science, Math
Key Learnings: Scientific Inquiry, Logic, Data Analysis
Time Needed: 3-4 weeks

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Students learn about electrical components and circuits, and use Ohm's Law to design, build, and test a circuit, much like professional engineers do.

Subjects: Science
Key Learnings: Types and uses of electronic components, OHMs law
Time Needed: 2 - 3 class periods, 50 minutes each

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Students use Intel® Galileo to build a smart sensor that can take action based on the amount of ambient light it senses. No prior experience with Galileo or programming required.

Subjects: Science, Technology, Engineering
Key Learnings: Coding, making, designing, types and uses of electric components
Time Needed: 45 - 60 minutes

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Students act as researchers to help their teacher find the most effective way to communicate with parents and the community.

Subjects: Language Arts, Math
Key Learning: Technology applications, Communication
Time needed: 3 weeks or 15 hours of in class time

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Additional Lesson Plans for Ages 11-14

Lesson Title Summary of Lesson Support Materials
Beat the Heat Students learn about environmental issues like the greenhouse effect by conducting chemical investigations in the lab, doing research, taking surveys, and speaking to experts. Lesson Plan - Beat the Heat
Density Got Gas Students engage in a variety of investigations related to the density of liquids, solids and gases. Unit Plan - Density Got Gas
Destination America: Our Hope Our Future Students gain an understanding of why people immigrate and what life was like as an immigrant at the turn of the 20th century by traveling back in time by using primary sources. Unit Plan - Destination America: Our Hope Our Future
Don't Trash the Earth Students play the role of waste management consultants and analyze past and current waste management practices at their school, then devise a recycling program. Unit Plan - Don't Trash the Earth
Enduring Heros Students discover heroes of the past and present. As they read about heroes in Greek mythology, they consider a contemporary hero and write a myth about that hero. Unit Plan - Enduring Heros
Fair Games Students take on the role of game designer to create a new game for a toy company describing the rules for play and explaining why the game is fair. Unit Plan - Fair Games
Learn Computer Science 4 Students who have completed course 3 will take their skills further to solve more complex problems, ultimately creating an interactive game to share. Unit Plan - Learn Computer Science 4
Make a Mini-Arcade In this hands-on unit, students create three video games using an Intel Galileo board and the processing IDE. No programming experience required. Unit Plan - Make a Mini-Arcade
Make a Pong Video Game Students create a video game with Intel Galileo board while learning about interactions between computer hardware and software. No programming experience required. Lesson Plan - Make a Pong Video Game
Making a Smart Temperature Sensor Students use Intel Galileo to build a smart sensor that can take action when temperature exceeds or falls below a limit. No prior experience with Galileo or programming required. Lesson Plan - Making a Smart Temperature Sensor
Plugging Into the Sun Students take the role of energy engineers as they study the sun's energy, fossil fuels, and the motion of the Earth and moon around the sun. Unit Plan - Plugging Into the Sun
Programming a Blinking Light In this initial lesson in computer programming, students will understand that a computer controls flashing lights. They will then create code and build a blinking light with an Arduino board.  Lesson Plan - Programming a Blinking Light

Showcase Plans for Ages 15-18

First-year chemistry students learn the basics of chemical reactions. They dig deeper and produce unique multimedia demonstrations that will be used in an educational instruction video.

Subject: Chemistry
Key Learnings: Chemical reactions, products of chemical reactions
Time needed: 11 days, 45 minutes per day

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This workbook guides teachers in designing learning opportunities that develop confidence, creativity, and interest in STEM using the Intel® Galileo development board.

Subject: Technology and Engineering
Key Learnings: Circuits and coding and how to create with them
Time Needed: 10-15 class periods, 50 minutes each

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Students research the impact of alternative fuel sources and how their daily decisions about energy will affect their quality of life, personally and globally.

Subject: Science, Algebra, Social Issues
Key Learnings: Organizing data, critical thinking, statistical analysis, alternative energy sources
Time Needed: 16 class periods, 55 minutes classes. Two weeks for home project.

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Students take part in a series of activities to develop an understanding of how individuals throughout the world have worked to achieve equal rights for themselves and others.

Subjects: History, Government, Contemporary World Issues
Key Learnings: Historical Analysis, Political Responsibility
Time Needed: 13 class periods

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Additional Lesson Plans for Ages 15-18

Lesson Title Summary of Lesson Support Materials
Biomes in Action Student activists explore the biomes of the world and develop a campaign to increase public awareness to assure protection of biome health. Unit Plan - Biomes in Action
Cell-to-Cell Students assume the role of medical researchers and use their understanding of groundbreaking cell biology research to trace the origins of diseases back to the cellular level. Unit Plan - Cell-to-Cell
Designer Genes: One Size Fits All? Student-scientists investigate the role of dominant and recessive genes while considering the impact of genetics on the world around us. Unit Plan - Designer Genes
Make a Self-Driving Car This lesson encourages students to question whether a society with self-driving or driver-assisted cars is desirable and to understand how complex it is to create one. Unit Plan - Make a Self-Driving Car 
Pedal Power As a culminating activity to instruction in functions, linear equations, and proportional reasoning, algebra students explore the mathematics of bicycles. Unit Plan - Pedal Power
Phabulous Physics Students investigate linear motion and apply their knowledge to a road hazard problem in their community. They create presentations to persuade city planners to make changes to the dangerous section of road. Unit Plan - Phabulous Physics 
Play Ball! Students explore the mathematics of baseball using spreadsheets and create an informative presentation that makes the game enjoyable for all. Unit Plan - Play Ball!
Sign of the Times Students study how literature is affected by the times in which it was created and the impact that fiction can have on society. Unit Plan - Sign of the Times
Track the Trends From population growth to crime rates, students use socially relevant data to plot historic trends and project them into the future. Unit Plan - Track the Trends
Using Electricity on the Job Students answer the questions "Why is electricity important" and "What jobs use the concepts of electricity in significant ways"? Unit Plan - Using Electricity on the Job 
What does this graph tell you Students research natural phenomena, design simulations in a lab setting, gather data, use spreadsheet software to analyze their data, and create presentations of their findings. Unit Plan - What Does the Graph Tell You?
What Will You Make? This unit exposes students to the endless possibilities of the Intel Galileo development board. Best for students with some programming experience and interest in research and innovation. Unit Plan - What Will You Make?

Making and Coding Showcase Plans

Students will discover how the mass of a projectile affects the distance it will travel when launched and understand the difference between potential and kinetic energy.

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Students will understand that a computer controls flashing lights and then create code and build a blinking light with an Arduino 101* board in one second intervals.

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Students will question whether a society with driver-less or driver-assisted cars is desirable and how complex it is to create one.

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Students investigate the role of electricity in their environment as they learn to create series and parallel circuits. Their final project has them apply their learnings to engineer an electronic game board.

Click to download

Additional Making and Coding Plans

Title Summary Support Materials
Making a Sound Detecting Device This project will have students create a noise detection device for measuring sound. Lesson Plan - Making a Sound Detecting Device
Creating Your Own Pedometer This guide will show you hot to create your own pedometer using Arduino 101 Lesson Plan - Creating Your Own Pedometer
Visual Programming with Arduino 101 This lesson uses Ardublock, a visual program builder for Arduino, to help transition from visual programming languages to text programming languages Lesson Plan - Visual Programming with Genuino 101
Shedding Light on Security Measures Students will learn how to apply programming concepts such as conditional statements and condition tests toward creating security measures, in the form of a PIN-controlled lock. Lesson Plan - Shedding Light on Security Measures
Blinking LED Light This lesson explores student's understanding of LED technology and how it affects their everyday life. Lesson Plan - Blinking LED Light
Understanding the Concept of Time This project uses the mathematical interpretation of time to help students find meaning in reading, applying, and prioritizing time. Lesson Plan - Understanding the Concept of Time
Learn Computer Science 1 The first of a three-course set developed by Code.org, this unit plan introduces elementary school students to computer programming through engaging videos and hands-on exercises. Lesson Plan - Computer Science 1
Learn Computer Science 2 Students learn computer programming skills and them put those skills to the test solving real problems and creating games, art and stories they can share. Lesson Plan - Computer Science 2
Learn Computer Science 3 Students who completed Learn Computer Science 2 will take their skills further to solve more complex problems and ultimately create an interactive game to share. Lesson Plan - Computer Science 3
Learn Computer Science 4 Students who completed Learn Computer Science 3 will take their skills further to solve more complex problems and ultimately create an interactive game to share. Lesson Plan - Computer Science 4
Create Your Own Flappy Game Students who have completed computer science lesson 4 put their skills to work creating their own version of the popular mobile game Flappy Bird. Unit Plan - Create Your Own Flappy Game
Unlocking Possibilities This engaging introduction to the fundamentals of computing, programming and electronic design opens young students’ eyes to the limitless possibilities unlocked with circuits and computer programming. Lesson Plan - Unlocking Possibilities
Handy Work Students learn the basics of human biology (the muscles of the hand) and create a practical computer program to make a hand move. Lesson Plan - Handy Work
Make a Smart Light Sensor Students use Intel® Galileo to build a smart sensor that can take action based on the amount of ambient light it senses. No prior experience with Galileo or programming required. Lesson Plan - Make a Smart Light Sensor
Make a Mini-Arcade In this hands-on unit, students create three video games using an Intel Galileo board and the processing IDE. No programming experience required. Lesson Plan - Make a Mini Arcade
Make a Pong Video Game Students create a video game with Intel Galileo board while learning about interactions between computer hardware and software. No programming experience required. Lesson Plan - Make a Pong Video Game
Making a Smart Temperature Sensor Students use Intel Galileo to build a smart sensor that can take action when temperature exceeds or falls below a limit. No prior experience with Galileo or programming required. Lesson Plan - Making a Smart Temperature Sensor
Creating With Technology This workbook guides teachers in designing learning opportunities that develop confidence, creativity, and interest in STEM using the Intel® Galileo development board. Lesson Plan - Creating With Technology
What Will You Make? This unit exposes students to the endless possibilities of the Intel Galileo development board. Best for students with some programming experience and interest in research and innovation. Lesson Plan - What Will You Make?