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Creative Computing Curriculum

K12 CS Framework Aligned

ScratchEd Team at the Harvard Graduate School of Education

The Creative Computing Lab at HGSE supports K–12 teachers in designing computer science learning experiences that foreground creativity.

The Creative Computing Curriculum, designed by the Creative Computing Lab at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, is a collection of ideas, strategies, and activities for an introductory creative computing experience using the Scratch programming language. The activities are designed to support familiarity and increasing fluency with computational creativity and computational thinking. The most recent edition of the curriculum is aligned with Scratch 3.0 and is now available in Google Slides as individual units, activities, or the full curriculum.

K12 CS Framework Components

Grade Band:
K-2
Concept:
Computing Systems
Sub-Concept:
Devices
Statements:
People use computing devices to perform a variety of tasks accurately and quickly. Computing devices interpret and follow the instructions they are given literally.
Grade Band:
K-2
Concept:
Computing Systems
Sub-Concept:
Hardware and Software
Statements:
A computing system is composed of hardware and software. Hardware consists of physical components, while software provides instructions for the system. These instructions are represented in a form that a computer can understand.
Grade Band:
K-2
Concept:
Computing Systems
Sub-Concept:
Troubleshooting
Statements:
Computing systems might not work as expected because of hardware or software problems. Clearly describing a problem is the first step toward finding a solution.
Grade Band:
K-2
Concept:
Networks and Internet
Sub-Concept:
Network Communications
Statements:
Computer networks can be used to connect people to other people, places, information, and ideas. The Internet enables people to connect with others worldwide through many different points of connection.
Grade Band:
K-2
Concept:
Data and Analysis
Sub-Concept:
Storage
Statements:
Computers store data that can be retrieved later. Identical copies of data can be made and stored in multiple locations for a variety of reasons, such as to protect against loss.
Grade Band:
K-2
Concept:
Data and Analysis
Sub-Concept:
Visualization and Transformation
Statements:
Data can be displayed for communication in many ways. People use computers to transform data into new forms, such as graphs and charts.
Grade Band:
K-2
Concept:
Algorithms and Programming
Sub-Concept:
Algorithms
Statements:
People follow and create processes as part of daily life. Many of these processes can be expressed as algorithms that computers can follow.
Grade Band:
K-2
Concept:
Algorithms and Programming
Sub-Concept:
Variables
Statements:
Information in the real world can be represented in computer programs. Programs store and manipulate data, such as numbers, words, colors, and images. The type of data determines the actions and attributes associated with it.
Grade Band:
K-2
Concept:
Algorithms and Programming
Sub-Concept:
Control
Statements:
Computers follow precise sequences of instructions that automate tasks. Program execution can also be nonsequential by repeating patterns of instructions and using events to initiate instructions.
Grade Band:
K-2
Concept:
Algorithms and Programming
Sub-Concept:
Modularity
Statements:
Complex tasks can be broken down into simpler instructions, some of which can be broken down even further. Likewise, instructions can be combined to accomplish complex tasks.
Grade Band:
K-2
Concept:
Algorithms and Programming
Sub-Concept:
Program Development
Statements:
People develop programs collaboratively and for a purpose, such as expressing ideas or addressing problems.
Grade Band:
K-2
Concept:
Impacts of Computing
Sub-Concept:
Culture
Statements:
Computing technology has positively and negatively changed the way people live and work. Computing devices can be used for entertainment and as productivity tools, and they can affect relationships and lifestyles.
Grade Band:
K-2
Concept:
Impacts of Computing
Sub-Concept:
Social Interactions
Statements:
Computing has positively and negatively changed the way people communicate. People can have access to information and each other instantly, anywhere, and at any time, but they are at the risk of cyberbullying and reduced privacy.
Grade Band:
K-2
Concept:
Impacts of Computing
Sub-Concept:
Safety, Law, and Ethics
Statements:
People use computing technology in ways that can help or hurt themselves or others. Harmful behaviors, such as sharing private information and interacting with strangers, should be recognized and avoided.
Grade Band:
3-5
Concept:
Computing Systems
Sub-Concept:
Devices
Statements:
Computing devices may be connected to other devices or components to extend their capabilities, such as sensing and sending information. Connections can take many forms, such as physical or wireless. Together, devices and components form a system of interdependent parts that interact for a common purpose.
Grade Band:
3-5
Concept:
Computing Systems
Sub-Concept:
Hardware and Software
Statements:
Hardware and software work together as a system to accomplish tasks, such as sending, receiving, processing, and storing units of information as bits. Bits serve as the basic unit of data in computing systems and can represent a variety of information.
Grade Band:
3-5
Concept:
Computing Systems
Sub-Concept:
Troubleshooting
Statements:
Computing systems share similarities, such as the use of power, data, and memory. Common troubleshooting strategies, such as checking that power is available, checking that physical and wireless connections are working, and clearing out the working memory by restarting programs or devices, are effective for many systems.
Grade Band:
3-5
Concept:
Networks and Internet
Sub-Concept:
Network Communications
Statements:
Information needs a physical or wireless path to travel to be sent and received, and some paths are better than others. Information is broken into smaller pieces, called packets, that are sent independently and reassembled at the destination. Routers and switches are used to properly send packets across paths to their destinations.
Grade Band:
3-5
Concept:
Data and Analysis
Sub-Concept:
Visualization and Transformation
Statements:
People select aspects and subsets of data to be transformed, organized, clustered, and categorized to provide different views and communicate insights gained from the data.
Grade Band:
3-5
Concept:
Data and Analysis
Sub-Concept:
Storage
Statements:
Different software tools used to access data may store the data differently. The type of data being stored and the level of detail represented by that data affect the storage requirements.
Grade Band:
3-5
Concept:
Algorithms and Programming
Sub-Concept:
Algorithms
Statements:
Different algorithms can achieve the same result. Some algorithms are more appropriate for a specific context than others.
Grade Band:
3-5
Concept:
Algorithms and Programming
Sub-Concept:
Control
Statements:
Control structures, including loops, event handlers, and conditionals, are used to specify the flow of execution. Conditionals selectively execute or skip instructions under different conditions.
Grade Band:
3-5
Concept:
Algorithms and Programming
Sub-Concept:
Modularity
Statements:
Programs can be broken down into smaller parts to facilitate their design, implementation, and review. Programs can also be created by incorporating smaller portions of programs that have already been created.
Grade Band:
3-5
Concept:
Algorithms and Programming
Sub-Concept:
Program Development
Statements:
People develop programs using an iterative process involving design, implementation, and review. Design often involves reusing existing code or remixing other programs within a community. People continuously review whether programs work as expected, and they fix, or debug, parts that do not. Repeating these steps enables people to refine and improve programs.
Grade Band:
3-5
Concept:
Impacts of Computing
Sub-Concept:
Culture
Statements:
The development and modification of computing technology is driven by people’s needs and wants and can affect groups differently. Computing technologies influence, and are influenced by, cultural practices.
Grade Band:
3-5
Concept:
Impacts of Computing
Sub-Concept:
Social Interactions
Statements:
Computing technology allows for local and global collaboration. By facilitating communication and innovation, computing influences many social institutions such as family, education, religion, and the economy.
Grade Band:
3-5
Concept:
Impacts of Computing
Sub-Concept:
Safety, Law, and Ethics
Statements:
Ethical complications arise from the opportunities provided by computing. The ease of sending and receiving copies of media on the Internet, such as video, photos, and music, creates the opportunity for unauthorized use, such as online piracy, and disregard of copyrights, such as lack of attribution.
Grade Band:
6-8
Concept:
Computing Systems
Sub-Concept:
Devices
Statements:
The interaction between humans and computing devices presents advantages, disadvantages, and unintended consequences. The study of human–computer interaction can improve the design of devices and extend the abilities of humans.
Grade Band:
6-8
Concept:
Computing Systems
Sub-Concept:
Hardware and Software
Statements:
Hardware and software determine a computing system’s capability to store and process information. The design or selection of a computing system involves multiple considerations and potential tradeoffs, such as functionality, cost, size, speed, accessibility, and aesthetics.
Grade Band:
6-8
Concept:
Computing Systems
Sub-Concept:
Troubleshooting
Statements:
Comprehensive troubleshooting requires knowledge of how computing devices and components work and interact. A systematic process will identify the source of a problem, whether within a device or in a larger system of connected devices.
Grade Band:
6-8
Concept:
Networks and Internet
Sub-Concept:
Network Communications
Statements:
Computers send and receive information based on a set of rules called protocols. Protocols define how messages between computers are structured and sent. Considerations of security, speed, and reliability are used to determine the best path to send and receive data.
Grade Band:
6-8
Concept:
Data and Analysis
Sub-Concept:
Storage
Statements:
Applications store data as a representation. Representations occur at multiple levels, from the arrangement of information into organized formats (such as tables in software) to the physical storage of bits. The software tools used to access information translate the low-level representation of bits into a form understandable by people.
Grade Band:
6-8
Concept:
Algorithms and Programming
Sub-Concept:
Algorithms
Statements:
Algorithms affect how people interact with computers and the way computers respond. People design algorithms that are generalizable to many situations. Algorithms that are readable are easier to follow, test, and debug.
Grade Band:
6-8
Concept:
Algorithms and Programming
Sub-Concept:
Variables
Statements:
Programmers create variables to store data values of selected types. A meaningful identifier is assigned to each variable to access and perform operations on the value by name. Variables enable the flexibility to represent different situations, process different sets of data, and produce varying outputs.
Grade Band:
6-8
Concept:
Algorithms and Programming
Sub-Concept:
Control
Statements:
Programmers select and combine control structures, such as loops, event handlers, and conditionals, to create more complex program behavior.
Grade Band:
6-8
Concept:
Algorithms and Programming
Sub-Concept:
Modularity
Statements:
Programs use procedures to organize code, hide implementation details, and make code easier to reuse. Procedures can be repurposed in new programs. Defining parameters for procedures can generalize behavior and increase reusability.
Grade Band:
6-8
Concept:
Algorithms and Programming
Sub-Concept:
Program Development
Statements:
People design meaningful solutions for others by defining a problem’s criteria and constraints, carefully considering the diverse needs and wants of the community, and testing whether criteria and constraints were met.
Grade Band:
6-8
Concept:
Impacts of Computing
Sub-Concept:
Culture
Statements:
Advancements in computing technology change people’s everyday activities. Society is faced with tradeoffs due to the increasing globalization and automation that computing brings.
Grade Band:
6-8
Concept:
Impacts of Computing
Sub-Concept:
Social Interactions
Statements:
People can organize and engage around issues and topics of interest through various communication platforms enabled by computing, such as social networks and media outlets. These interactions allow issues to be examined using multiple viewpoints from a diverse audience.
Grade Band:
9-12
Concept:
Computing Systems
Sub-Concept:
Hardware and Software
Statements:
Levels of interaction exist between the hardware, software, and user of a computing system. The most common levels of software that a user interacts with include system software and applications. System software controls the flow of information between hardware components used for input, output, storage, and processing.
Grade Band:
9-12
Concept:
Computing Systems
Sub-Concept:
Troubleshooting
Statements:
Troubleshooting complex problems involves the use of multiple sources when researching, evaluating, and implementing potential solutions. Troubleshooting also relies on experience, such as when people recognize that a problem is similar to one they have seen before or adapt solutions that have worked in the past.
Grade Band:
9-12
Concept:
Data and Analysis
Sub-Concept:
Visualization and Transformation
Statements:
People transform, generalize, simplify, and present large data sets in different ways to influence how other people interpret and understand the underlying information. Examples include visualization, aggregation, rearrangement, and application of mathematical operations.
Grade Band:
9-12
Concept:
Algorithms and Programming
Sub-Concept:
Algorithms
Statements:
People evaluate and select algorithms based on performance, reusability, and ease of implementation. Knowledge of common algorithms improves how people develop software, secure data, and store information.
Grade Band:
9-12
Concept:
Algorithms and Programming
Sub-Concept:
Variables
Statements:
Data structures are used to manage program complexity. Programmers choose data structures based on functionality, storage, and performance tradeoffs.
Grade Band:
9-12
Concept:
Algorithms and Programming
Sub-Concept:
Control
Statements:
Programmers consider tradeoffs related to implementation, readability, and program performance when selecting and combining control structures.
Grade Band:
9-12
Concept:
Algorithms and Programming
Sub-Concept:
Modularity
Statements:
Complex programs are designed as systems of interacting modules, each with a specific role, coordinating for a common overall purpose. These modules can be procedures within a program; combinations of data and procedures; or independent, but interrelated, programs. Modules allow for better management of complex tasks.
Grade Band:
9-12
Concept:
Algorithms and Programming
Sub-Concept:
Program Development
Statements:
Diverse teams can develop programs with a broad impact through careful review and by drawing on the strengths of members in different roles. Design decisions often involve tradeoffs. The development of complex programs is aided by resources such as libraries and tools to edit and manage parts of the program. Systematic analysis is critical for identifying the effects of lingering bugs.
Grade Band:
9-12
Concept:
Impacts of Computing
Sub-Concept:
Culture
Statements:
The design and use of computing technologies and artifacts can improve, worsen, or maintain inequitable access to information and opportunities.
Grade Band:
9-12
Concept:
Impacts of Computing
Sub-Concept:
Safety, Law, and Ethics
Statements:
Laws govern many aspects of computing, such as privacy, data, property, information, and identity. These laws can have beneficial and harmful effects, such as expediting or delaying advancements in computing and protecting or infringing upon people’s rights. International differences in laws and ethics have implications for computing.
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