How to teach one Hour of Code

Join the movement and introduce a group of students to their first hour of computer science with these steps:

1) Watch this how-to video

2) Choose a tutorial for your hour:

We provide a variety of fun, hour-long tutorials for students of all ages, created by a variety of partners.

Student-guided Hour of Code tutorials:

  • Require minimal prep-time for teachers
  • Are self-guided - allowing students to work at their own pace and skill-level

Teacher-guided Hour of Code tutorials:

  • Are lesson plans that require some advance teacher preparation
  • Are categorized by grade level and by subject area (eg Math, English, etc)

3) Promote your Hour of Code

Promote your Hour of Code with these tools and encourage others to host their own events.

4) Plan your technology needs - computers are optional

The best Hour of Code experience includes Internet-connected computers. But you don’t need a computer for every child, and you can even do the Hour of Code without a computer at all.

Plan Ahead! Do the following before your event starts:

  • Test tutorials on student computers or devices. Make sure they work properly on browsers with sound and video.
  • Provide headphones for your class, or ask students to bring their own, if the tutorial you choose works best with sound.
  • Don't have enough devices? Use pair programming. When students partner up, they help each other and rely less on the teacher. They’ll also see that computer science is social and collaborative.
  • Have low bandwidth? Plan to show videos at the front of the class, so each student isn't downloading their own videos. Or try the unplugged / offline tutorials.

5) Start your Hour of Code off with an inspiring speaker or video

Invite a local volunteer to inspire your students by talking about the breadth of possibilities in computer science. There are thousands of volunteers around the world ready to help with your Hour of Code. Use this map to find local volunteers who can visit your classroom or join a video chat with your students.

Show an inspirational video:

It’s okay if both you and your students are brand new to computer science. Here are some ideas to introduce your Hour of Code activity:

  • Explain ways that technology impacts our lives, with examples both boys and girls will care about (Talk about saving lives, helping people, connecting people, etc.).
  • As a class, list things that use code in everyday life.
  • See tips for getting girls interested in computer science here.

Need more guidance? Download this template lesson plan.

Want more teaching ideas? Check out best practices from experienced educators.

6) Code!

Direct students to the activity

When your students come across difficulties it's okay to respond:

  • “I don’t know. Let’s figure this out together.”
  • “Technology doesn’t always work out the way we want.”
  • “Learning to program is like learning a new language; you won’t be fluent right away.”

Check out these teaching tips

What to do if a student finishes early?

  • Students can see all tutorials and try another Hour of Code activity at code.org/learn
  • Or, ask students who finish early to help classmates who are having trouble with the activity.

 

7) Celebrate

 

Other Hour of Code resources for educators:

What comes after the Hour of Code?

The Hour of Code is just the first step on a journey to learn more about how technology works and how to create software applications. To continue this journey:

  • Encourage students to continue to learn online.
  • Attend a 1-day, in-person workshop to receive instruction from an experienced computer science facilitator. (US educators only)