Lesson 1 - First steps
In this introductory lesson, students will write and execute their first programs in Python. They will go through the basics of displaying messages, assigning values to variables, and receiving input from the keyboard.
They will familiarise themselves with an entirely different programming environment than the block-based one that they may be accustomed to. It is an environment where they will need to know by heart all of the constructs that they can use, instead of having the options laid out in front of them. It is also an environment in which errors arise if they get a single letter or symbol wrong.
One of the main goals of this lesson (and of the unit) is to support them in this transition, by providing associations with concepts that they are already familiar with and building their confidence in overcoming common obstacles.
Before doing any programming, students will be introduced to what algorithms and programs are, and how they are different. Through this discussion, they will start to build an understanding of what it means to express instructions in a formal language, and how these instructions can eventually be executed by a machine.
This lesson is the first in a six session teaching unit provided by the National Centre for Computing Education.
Show health and safety information
Please be aware that resources have been published on the website in the form that they were originally supplied. This means that procedures reflect general practice and standards applicable at the time resources were produced and cannot be assumed to be acceptable today. Website users are fully responsible for ensuring that any activity, including practical work, which they carry out is in accordance with current regulations related to health and safety and that an appropriate risk assessment has been carried out.