Grade Levels: 3-5, 6-8

*Click to open and customize your own copy of the Computer History Lesson Plan

This lesson accompanies the BrainPOP topic Computer History, and supports the standard of evaluating the impact of technology on society. Students demonstrate understanding through a variety of creative projects.


Ask students:

  • What do you use computers in your everyday life? What would our life be like without computers
  • How do you think computers have changed over time? 


  • Read aloud the description below the Movie player.
  • Play the Movie, pausing to check for understanding. 
  • Have students read one of the following Related Reading articles: “Quirky Stuff” or “Famous Faces.” Partner them with someone who read a different article to share what they learned with each other.

Step 3: APPLY
Students synthesize their ideas and express them through one or more of the following creative projects. They can work individually or collaborate.  

  • Make-a-Movie: Create a documentary tracing the evolution of computer technology. 
  • Make-a-Map: Make a concept map identifying significant events in computer history, and their impacts. 
  • Creative Coding: Code a meme that makes a statement of how computers have changed our lives over time. 


Reflect: After sharing creative projects with each other, students reflect on what they’ve learned about computer history.  Prompt them by asking questions such as: 

  • How do today’s computers build on past technology? 
  • How might computer technology continue to evolve in the future?
  • How does changing technology impact everyday lives? 

Assess: Wrap up the lesson with the Computer History Challenge

Step 5:  Extend Learning

Explore a moment in computer history by analyzing an advertisement for the first Apple computer in this Primary Source Activity

Meet some technological game-changers with BrainPOP’s Grace Hopper, Ada Lovelace, and Alan Turing topics.  

Dive more deeply into computer programming with BrainPOP’s collection of Computer Science and Coding topics, games, and teacher resources. 


Lesson Plan Common Core State Standards Alignments