Computer Skills Curriculum

Word Processing Utilization

Title: School Lab

Other Curriculum Objectives that can be addressed by this lesson plan
English Language Arts: 1.3, 2.1, 3.1; Computer Skills: (Gr. 7) 2.1, 3.1; Information Skills 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 2.1, 2.2

Grade: 7
Competency 2.1: Describe the advantages of using computers to generate various types of productions.

Measure 2.2.2: Using a word processing program, write a persuasive paper to convince the school principal to purchase hardware and software for a school desktop publishing lab.

Materials/Resources: Word processing software, computers with printers; School Lab transparency (included); access to a school publishing lab; access to someone involved in desktop publishing.

Time: Two to three class periods; time in the lab to complete persuasive paper.

Terms: desktop publishing, clip art, scanner, laser printer




    With the Students:

  • Review how to write a persuasive essay.
  • Have students practice their editing skills by correcting capitalization and punctuation errors on the School Lab data file. Then, have students write a persuasive essay on a given topic to provide practice.
  • Plan a trip to a school that has a desktop publishing lab or to a local newspaper office. If this is not possible, invite a desktop publishing professional to visit and do a brief presentation to the class.


  • Visit a desktop publishing lab or listen to a presentation by a desktop publishing professional.
  • Have students (in small groups) discuss the kinds of equipment and software that they think is essential for a desktop publishing lab at their school.
  • Give students an opportunity to share their ideas with others in the class.
  • Give students an opportunity to use these brainstorming sessions to develop an outline for a persuasive paper for purchasing hardware and software for a word processing or desktop publishing lab.

Enrichment/ Follow-up:

If the school does not have a desktop publishing lab, provide students with the opportunity to present their papers to their principal or to the local parent teacher association.


Students should bring their brainstorming ideas and/or outlines with them to the computer lab. Students should write a draft of a persuasive paper explaining the need for a desktop publishing lab in their school (or to add additional equipment or software to an existing lab). Students should be given opportunities for peer editing and for final publishing of their papers. Teachers should reteach and provide additional practice for those students experiencing difficulty with this assignment.