Good afternoon, colleagues! We're planning a year-long intro course to computer science for middle schoolers and going to use Logo as a main language but also looking for alternatives available to 5-6th graders. I'm looking for learning materials we can start to work from. Can you recommend anything that has a week-by-week plan with homeworks and in-class assignments to see if we're able to fit in limits we have?

Thank you!

  • $\begingroup$ I suggest that you ask a question like this on one of the APCS lists and on the SIGCSE list. You may find people there who have done something like this. $\endgroup$
    – Buffy
    Dec 1, 2020 at 13:39
  • $\begingroup$ You mean mailing lists like this one? sigcse.org/sigcse/membership/mailing-lists.html $\endgroup$
    – paus
    Dec 1, 2020 at 20:07
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, the sigcse members list. You need to join SIGCSE but the cost is reasonable (by US standards, anyway). $\endgroup$
    – Buffy
    Dec 1, 2020 at 20:20
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ MIT Scratch is good to start with, then Berkeley snap has everything you need to teach first year undergrad. Then python turtle module for when you need to do text based. $\endgroup$ Dec 6, 2020 at 16:26
  • $\begingroup$ @Buffy can you share the link to APCS community mailing list with me? I cannot google it by just "apcs mailing list" or "apcs". $\endgroup$
    – paus
    Dec 8, 2020 at 9:55

1 Answer 1


Scratch comes with a large document of day-by-day lessons along with labs. As a side benefit, due to the exploratory nature of Scratch, creating new assignments is fairly simple. "Create a movie about ____" or "create a small game that involves bouncing" or "create a game that responds to sounds as the controls".

Actually, that blank is great. You can tell the students to create a "movie" or a game about any topic the kids are studying elsewhere in the curriculum, and allow them to make use of all of the techniques they've learned and explore other parts of the program.

To my thinking, it's also advantageous to use scratch concurrently with logo, since using two systems will introduce the key computer science concepts twice within two giant, open, exploratory worlds. This increases the chances that the kids will see the parallels and really begin to absorb the computer science concepts.

  • $\begingroup$ Well, Scratch is a good choice for sparking the interest, but for the systematic course we're looking for something with text as basis. Fantasy consoles like pico-8, Coumir with executors: ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D0%9A%D1%83%D0%9C%D0%B8%D1%80 etc. Something simple as an ecosystem able to show basic concepts at the core of CS. $\endgroup$
    – paus
    Dec 3, 2020 at 13:21

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