Computer Skills Curriculum

Word Processing

Title: Get in the Green

Other Curriculum Objectives that can be addressed by this lesson plan
English Language Arts: 2.1, 2.3; Computer Skills: (Gr. 3) 2.3; Information Skills 1.4, 1.5; Science (Gr. 3) 2.1, 2.4, 2.7, 3.5

Grade: 3

Competency 2.3: Use a word processing program to load, enter, save, and print text.

Measure 2.3.1: After loading a class journal file into your computer, enter a brief summary of todayís activities and save the journal file for the next day.

Materials Needed: plastic Ziploc bag, potting soil, lima bean seed water, thumb tacks, magic marker, bulletin board, chart paper, computers and word processing software, LCD panel or connection to a large screen monitor

Time: Two sessions, 30-40 minutes each; additional time for observation as bean grows.

Terms: word processing, file, load, enter, save, print




    Teacher Preparation:

  1. Collect essential materials for each student for bean planting.
  2. Format diskettes to use in the computer lab for class journal.
  3. If this is not the first journal writing activity, bring diskettes to lab.
  4. Make a bulletin board for posting each student's plastic bag.

    With the Students:

  1. Have a classroom discussion about journal/diary writing.
  2. Tell the class that they will be contributing to a class journal.
  3. Tell them that this class journal will focus on science activities (or general class activities).
  4. Tell them that they will be studying plants and that one activity will be to grow a plant.
  5. Generate discussion on what is needed for a plant to grow.
  6. Make a chart illustrating the steps to follow to plant a seed.


  1. Instruct each student to write his/her name on a plastic bag.
  2. Have each student fill a bag with potting soil.
  3. Provide water and have each student moisten the soil, then plant the lima bean seed at the front of the bag so that it is visible.
  4. Attach each bag to a plant bulletin board.
  5. Have students observe the growth of their lima bean seeds daily.
  6. Provide a special observation and sharing time for students to discuss the progress of their lima beans and other weekly activities.
  7. Have students contribute to a class computer journal with the teacher writing possible entries on the board. The class decides which entries will go into the class computer journal.
  8. Provide students an opportunity to enter the weekly journal contribution while other students observe.
  9. Have students print and save a copy of the journal for classroom reading.


  • Provide opportunities for students to keep personal journals/diaries using a computer. Student-chosen topics are used for these writing activities. Journal writing could be extended for the remainder of the school year with students using the first 5-10 minutes of computer time for these writings. Time should be provided periodically for students to share their journal entries if they wish.
  • Have students keep an individual computer log of observations related to science experiments and activities. The teacher may wish to develop a template to structure recording of information in the computer log.


Review the bean planting activity as a group. List steps in planting as the students describe them. In pairs, have students load a copy of the class journal file. Each student takes a turn adding a description of the planting activity and saving the file. (Providing several copies of the classroom journal will expedite loading this file for students to add their descriptions.)