How to teach one Hour of Code in after-school classes and clubs

Join the movement and introduce a group of students to their first hour of computer science with these steps. The Hour of Code is easy to run - even for beginners! If you'd like an extra set of hands to help out, you can find a local volunteer to help run an Hour of Code in your class.

1. Watch this how-to video

2. Choose a tutorial

We provide a variety of fun, hour-long tutorials for participants all ages, created by a variety of partners. Try them out!

All Hour of Code tutorials require minimal prep-time for organizers, and are self-guided - allowing kids to work at their own pace and skill-level.

Need a lesson plan for your afterschool Hour of Code? Check out this template!

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.

Make sure to test tutorials on student computers or devices to ensure they work properly on browsers with sound and video. 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.

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.

5. Start your Hour of Code off with an inspiring video

Kick off your Hour of Code by inspiring participants and discussing how computer science impacts every part of our lives.

Show an inspirational video:

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

  • Explain ways technology impacts our lives, with examples both boys and girls will care about (Talk about apps and technology that is used to save lives, help people, connect people etc).
  • 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.

6. Code!

Direct participants to the activity

When someone comes 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.”

What to do if someone finishes early?

  • Encourage participants to try another Hour of Code activity at hourofcode.com/learn
  • Or, ask those who finish early to help others who are having trouble.

 

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)