1st grade

Beginning Keyboarding

Girl typing at laptop


The goal of this activity is to provide resources for helping students build appropriate keyboarding skills and position through practice, modeling, and goal setting and monitoring processes.

Students will:

  • Be able to set realistic keyboarding goals for their age level and ability
  • Be able to develop strategies to meet their goal
  • Be able to reflect on their learning process and progress
  • Be able to learn to use the keyboard to build age and skill appropriate keyboarding skills

Grade level targets:
Note: Suggested practice time for early elementary is 5-10 minutes per night and 10-15 minutes for upper elementary.

Kindergarten: Hunt and peck for playing games and becoming familiar with arrow keys, and beginning to locate letters.

1st - 2nd grade: Students type their name using two hands for the QWERTY keyboard - hunt and peck is fine. Left hand for the left side, vice versa.

3rd grade: Students understand keyboarding is a technique or skill-like sport. They practice key combination drills with two hands using correct fingering. Form not speed should be the rule! Wrists are flat straight, and thumbs on the spacebar should be the goal. The Comnmon Core Standards suggest a student in 3rd grade be able to type one page in a sitting.

4th -5th grade: Students build keyboarding skills, practice the home row and build their key combination drills with proper placement of their hands and body position. Form not speed! Wrists flat and thumbs on the spacebar.

Middle school: Student hands likely now have the pinkie reach and can build their skill with regular two-handed keyboardingactivities.

Vocabulary Words:

  1. Keyboarding: Keyboarding is the activity of typing information using a keyboard on a computing device.
  2. WPM: WPM is the words per minute you can type.
  3. Accuracy: Accuracy is the number of keys making up words, letters, and numbers  a person can type free from error.

To prepare for this lesson:

  • Refer to the Grade level targets in the Learning Objectives section
  • Review these keyboarding applications
  • Set your goals for introducing and coaching keyboarding skills paying attention to current research on the topic.
  • Support students in setting a keyboarding goal, revising their goal using reflection and identifying strategies for improvement, and then celebrating their goals.  Creating a chart will be helpful to chart their progress and accomplishments  (WPM and Accuracy chart example).
  • Create a plan for communication with students' family and significant adults to support and celebrate the progress on the learning goals.

Accommodations to meet the needs of students regarding Vision, Hearing, Reading, Motor, and Communication can be found at:

Directions for this activity:

  1. Review expectations for grade level (learning objectives).

  2. Observe the 5 Keyboarding Tips for teachers. Have students help create a poster for proper keyboarding position or take pictures of students demonstrating the positions to post.

    • Sitting straight with back straight

    • Feet flat on the floor (using blocks or items as needed if needed)

    • Elbows level with the keyboard

    • Wrists off the keyboard

    • Fingers on the home row

    • Fingers curved

  3. Provide a chart for students to keep as they set goals and acknowledge growth. Use stars or post statistics to note each practice session. Have students set a goal with set times to review their progress and revise their goals at intervals such as 1-2 weeks.
  4. Help guide students by discussing and identifying strategies to improve their keyboarding skills.
  5. Coach students to identify appropriate games, exercises and amount of practice time for their individual skill abilities (refer to the keyboarding apps in pre-planning)
  6. Guide and help students to reflect on their learning process and the use of strategies to set and meet their goals.
  7. Include family or significant adults in the celebration of achieved goals.
  8. Sign your class up (FREE) for the TypingClub

    You will need to add your students beforehand. Tutorials are available to help you with this.

Different options for assessing the students:

  • Observations of posture, feet, and hand position
  • Use the results of different typing activities and games to monitor progress
  • Use a free typing test for those in 2nd grade or higher

MITECS: Michigan adopted the "ISTE Standards for Students" called MITECS (Michigan Integrated Technology Competencies for Students) in 2018.

Empowered Learner
1c. Students use technology to seek feedback that informs and improves their practice and to demonstrate their learning.
1d. Students articulate and set personal learning goals and develop strategies leveraging technology to achieve them and reflect on the learning process itself top improve learning outcomes.


CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.3.6. mentions "using technology to produce and publish writing" so keyboarding skills fits this standard

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.4.6 Students must be able to type "pages in a single sitting" starting with 1 page in 4th grade and increases to 3 pages by 6th grade.

Students can access ABCYA for their grade level to select additional keyboard activities for Word Games.

K-1 Students can create drawings in a paint program and type their name on it.

2-5 Students can illustrate stories and poems they write with the computer.

Students can create their own "About my art" page with drawings.

Students can copy and paste copyright free images from Pics4Learning to create collages or topics to write a sentence or page about.

Introduce charts and graphing for the progress and results of the different typing activities.

Students might locate and copy and paste copyright free animal, biomes, or weather images from Pics4Learning, typing their name and information about them.

Students can copy and paste countries, geography, or space images from Pics4Learning and type the names and information about them.

This task card was created by Courtney Conley, Utica Community Schools and Carolyn McCarthy, Shiawassee RESD and Project Manager for 21things4students and 21things4kids REMCAM Projects, January 2018.