Basic Computer Skills Curriculum
On this site you will find lesson modules covering basic computer skills developed by computer teachers* from Adult Basic Education programs in the St. Paul Community Literacy Consortium.
You will find Lessons (handouts), Teacher Guides, Vocabulary Lists and Activities. Some computer skills may have several lessons associated with them and some lessons may cover several computer skills.
The lessons are grouped by computer task and skill. Rather than rigidly defining a day-by-day curriculum, teachers can pick and choose lessons and activities that suit their classroom needs and student’s pace.
The teachers on this project highly recommend incorporating keyboarding practice into your curriculum. Using a keyboarding program such as Mavis Beacon every day will help your students feel comfortable on the keyboard. There are also some good resources Learn to Type Efficiently.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License. These materials are free for others to use non-commerciually. Please credit the St. Paul Communbity Literacy Consortium when using.
Note: All files are PDF format unless noted.
New MSWord Additions
Updated exercises, project ideas, and course outlines in Microsoft Word are now available in a single (27 Megabyte) download. Simply right-click the "Computer_training.zip" zip file and choose "Save Target As" to download to your computer. Then use your favorite zip program to unzip the entire curriculum.
Table of Contents:
- Very Basic Computer Skills
- Computer Vocabulary
- Opening and Saving Files
- Skills and Activities Practice
- MS Word Exercises
- Excel Exercises
Visuals for teaching very basic computer skills: using a mouse and turning a computer on and off. These are suited for low NRS levels or for students with little to no computer experience. Two good websites for practicing mouse skills are Mousarobics and Mouse Exercises.
- How to turn on the computer
- TURN ON the computer
- You will see a green light if it is ON.
- Is it ON? Wake up!
- How to turn off the computer
- TURN OFF the computer
- Mouse skills
- Mouse visual aid
- Mouse skills vocabulary
- Computer Basics and Word (.zip, 16.7MB)
Handouts and activities to teach everyday computer vocabulary (computer parts, toolbar, font, highlight, etc.). These are suited for low NRS levels or for students with little to no computer experience.
- Basic definitions
- Basic definitions matching game
- Computer vocabulary
- Vocabulary matching game 2
- About your computer (PowerPoint)
Navigating windows to open and save files. These are suited for low NRS levels or for students with little to no computer experience.
Activities created to help students practice skills such as font attributes (bold, italics), spacing, cut-and-paste, and tables. All documents are zipped together. Each lesson includes a Teacher's Guide and several activities (MS Word Documents). These are suited for low NRS levels or for students with little to no computer experience.
- Teacher Guide Graphics 2
- Font attributes (.zip)
- Cut and paste (.zip)
- Spacing (.zip)
- Editing (.zip)
- Tables (.zip)
Step-by-step instructions with graphics designed to introduce learners to various aspects of MS Word. NRS levels range from Low Intermediate and High Intermediate Basic Education to Low Adult Secondary.
- Exercise 1: Typing and Editing
- Exercise 2: Editing and Formatting
- Exercise 3: Spell Check
- Exercise 4: Spell Check | Teacher notes
- Exercise 5: Spell Check
- Exercise 6: Editing and Spell Check (Microsoft Word format) | Practice (Microsoft Word format)
- Exercise 7: Editing and Formatting | Formatting Practice (Microsoft Word format)
- Exercise 8: Tables
- Exercise 9: Columns and Indenting
- Exercise 10: Bullets and Clip Art
- Copying and Pasting Images
- Microsoft Word: Using HELP 98 2000 Version
- Microsoft Word: Using HELP XP Version
Step-by-step instructions with graphics designed to introduce learners to various aspects of MS Excel. These lessons are suitable for NRS level Low Adult Secondary.
- Explanation of Excel Cursors
- Exercise 1, Basic: Entering Information
- Exercise 1: Entering Information
- Exercise 2, Basic: Making Lists
- Exercise 2: Making Lists
- Exercise 3, basic: Budgets
- Exercise 4: Adding Totals
- Exercise 5: Making Charts
- Exercise 6: Budgets
- Execise 7: Making Charts
Lessons and activities on using the internet. These lessons refer to Internet Explorer as the browser. Many activities can be completed regardless of the browser.
- What is the internet? (PowerPoint)
- Go to a website on the internet
- Internet directions: Mapquest
- Exercise 1
- Exercise 2
- Exercise 3
- Exercise 4
- Internet job search
- Online dictionaries and encyclopedias
- Internet dictionary
- Metro Transit website
- Publish your own recipe
Step-by-step instructions with graphics designed to walk students through the creation of a PowerPoint presentation.
* This project was funded by America Connects Consortium with the goal of creating lessons for common basic computer skills that teachers in the Adult Basic Education field could download and incorporate into their classroom at no cost.
Curriculum developed by:
- Jessica Schachterle from Minnesota Literacy Council
- Daniel Hoisington from Lao Family Community
- Deb Woodburn, volunteer with Chicanos Latinos Unidos En Servicio working with Minnesota Literacy Council
Thanks to the Minnesota Literacy Council and teacher, Jessica Grace Jones, for the new additions. For feedback or questions regarding the curriculum, contact Jessica at email@example.com.
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