Computer Skills Curriculum
Keyboarding Lesson Plan

Title: Learn Symbols and Special Function Keys!

Other Curriculum Objectives that can be addressed by this lesson plan
Computer Skills: (Gr. 2) 2.2

Grade: 2
Competency 2.2: Locate and use symbol keys and special function keys (e.g., period, question mark, Caps Lock, arrow keys, shift, ESC).

Measure 2.2.1: Given a picture of a computer keyboard, color special keys as the teacher says the name or describes the function.

Materials Needed: Computer with word processing software, large screen monitor or projection panel with overhead; a prepared data diskette with symbol keys and sentences; paper keyboards (small and large); crayons/magic markers; large poster showing the symbols (period, question mark, caps lock, arrow keys, shift, ESC).

Time: Three to four, 10-15 minute class sessions.

Terms: Computer, Keyboard, RETURN/ENTER key, Shift key, Caps Lock key, Space bar, Arrow keys, Symbol keys, ESC key



Pre-Activities: Teacher Preparation
  • 1. Prepare word processing data diskettes with symbol keys and with incorrect sentences for students to correct. Sample items are included with this lesson.

  • 2. Prepare or obtain paper keyboards and a large poster showing symbol keys.


  • 1. Direct the students' attention to a large poster showing the symbol keys. Touch a special key and tell the students the name of each symbol. Have students repeat the names.

  • 2. Review the use of the symbols. Give examples of when the symbols would be used.

  • 2. Using a computer and large screen monitor or projection panel with the entire class or a typical computer station with small groups of students, demonstrate keying the symbols by holding down one of the shift keys, using index fingers only.

  • 3. At the computer, have students practice using symbol keys (with index fingers only). Monitor students and model correct procedures as necessary.

  • 4. Using the prepared data diskettes, have students key in the material with symbol keys as shown on the word processing data diskettes. (Activity 1)

  • 5. Given several incorrect sentences on the data diskettes, have students key each sentence correctly by providing a capital letter for the first word of each sentence. (Activity 2)

  • 6. Given sentences on the data diskettes, have students key the sentences using the Caps Lock key. (Activity 3)

Follow-Up: Play Zap It!
  • 1. Post large, paper keyboards around room.

  • 2. Divide the class into several teams and have students line up in front of the keyboards.

  • 3. Provide each student a crayon or marker.

  • 4. Name/describe a special key, then say "go" so students can "zap it."

  • 5. Have the first student in each line run to the paper keyboard and "zap" the special key by marking a "Z" on it. The student runs to the end of the line. Repeat until all students have had a turn.

  • 6. At the end of the game, all students are declared "winners" and given a paper keyboard to take home to practice locating letters, numbers, and special keys.


Using a picture of a computer keyboard, have students color special keys and symbol keys using specific colors as the teacher gives instructions.