First Grade

Student Made Laptops

Innovative Designer


Students will learn about laptops they will use in the classroom. They learn about the placement of keys and finger placement for proper typing. They create ownership with a project made by the student. As students are becoming more exposed to computers/laptops and beginning to learn proper finger placement on the keys a cardboard replica is a great way to reinforce this information when students are away from the real item. 

Students will:

  • Be able to practice and familiarize themselves with the placement of keys on a keyboard, when they are away from a keyboard. 

Vocabulary Words:

  1. Laptop: A laptop is a computer that is portable.

  2. Keypad: The keypad is the place on the computer that has the alphabetic and numeral keys.

To prepare for this lesson:

  • Teachers will collect cardboard for the students to create cardboard replicas. 
  • Take a photo of a laptop and its keyboard and enlarge for students to see and use to create their cardboard laptops. 
  • Here is a photo of a keyboard from Pixabay that can be used as an example. 
  • Decide what the students will use (crayons, markers, pens, colored pencils) on the cardboard. 

See Accommodations Page and Charts on the site in the Teacher Resources. 

Directions for this activity:

  1. Explain to the students that they are going to create their own laptop with cardboard. They will look at the picture or an actual laptop and draw the keyboard keys on it. 
  2. Explain to them that all keyboards are similar and the keys are in the same place for them to learn how to keyboard. 
  3. Each student will need cardboard. 
  4. Either a photo of the proper order of the alphabetic keypad will be displayed for students or while they are at the computer so they can copy the correct order. 
  5. Students will draw each of the keys in the correct order on their laptop cardboard replica. They may also draw the monitor and make their laptop personalized. 
  6. Once the laptops are completed, have the students practice using the correct fingering and placement while typing their names, words, or a sentence.

Different options for assessing the students:

  • Observations
  • Check for understanding
  • The teacher will go around and observe that the students are using the correct fingering.  This will carry over when they are using an actual computer/laptop.

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

Innovative Designer 
4a. Students know and use a deliberate design process for generating ideas, testing theories, creating innovative artifacts or solving authentic problems

Device: PC, Chromebook, Mac, iPad 

Browser: Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Edge, ALL

App, Extension, or Add-on:




The student is able to practice letter recognition and spelling. 

The student is able to use their creativity to make the laptop personalized. 

Students will be using shapes to make a laptop.  They will also be able to count the number of keys in each row, the number of letters in the alphabet, and practice making lines and squares to make the keys. 

Students develop a simple sketch, drawing, or physical model to illustrate how the shape of an object helps it function as needed to solve a given problem

Students learn about a technology device used in school and at home. 

This task card was created by Tiffany Bell, Wexford Public Schools, August 2019.