Imagine having to write everything down on paper before you go to sleep otherwise you’d forget it, even your name…and then you have to read it as soon as you wake up otherwise your mind is empty
This is how we started to talk about memory and the file storage of a computer. I asked our group of 6 year olds to pretend that unless they had something written down they wouldn’t remember it. This, of course, was a source of much amusement to them. By the way, it still amazes me, that they’re only 6 years old. They don’t perceive things by varying levels of difficulty, just varying levels of interest/fun.
This approach serves as a really fun way to talk about computers, have them role play and learn some high level concepts around the way computers ‘bootstrap’.
The pixel heart picture above is from the Craft Computer Kit (download link below) and it’s a black and white numbered grid. Each number corresponds to a colour e.g. 1 = Red and the children spend around 15 minutes colouring them in.
They love this as a) they love colouring in and b) they’ve no idea what the picture is until about a 2/3 of the way through. They think it’s magic – which is a great jumping off point to explain, it’s not magic, but the way Computers work which is ultimately more exciting.
Weeks 2 and 3 merged and overlapped due to the role play, Q&A and the craft items which some of children were slower at. So my advice at this point on using the Craft Computer approach is to allocate more time than you think or be happy to have one week overlap with the next.