About CS First

Overview of CS First

CS First is a free, easy-to-use computer science curriculum designed for students in grades 4-8 (ages 9-14). Teachers use the video content to teach kids coding basics with Scratch for CS First, a special version of the Scratch coding editor inside the CS First website. CS First is available online at http://g.co/csfirst and can be used by anyone, and in any setting (in school, after school, or outside of school).

What is a CS First class?

A class consists of a roster of students and one or more CS First lessons. Classes can be used to organize and assign lessons to your students. The curriculum includes standalone lessons and sequenced multi-lesson units; you can view them all at g.co/csfirst/curriculum.

Standalone lessons

  • Description: Standalone lessons teach students the basics of block-based coding with Scratch for CS First, and are great for anyone who is new to coding or for special one-day events such as conferences or Hour of Code™.

  • Structure: Standalone lessons are 45 - 75 minute standalone lessons designed for students to start and complete a coding project in one session. Students will watch a series of videos and create one coding project in Scratch for CS First with opportunities to personalize their work using “Add-Ons.”

Multi-lesson units

  • Description: Multi-lesson units are built around student interests and vary in complexity. They are designed to introduce students to core computer science concepts over several sessions.

  • Structure: Each multi-lesson unit consists of eight lessons, which include roughly 10 - 12 hours of content. For each lesson, students will watch a series of videos and create one coding project in Scratch for CS First with opportunities to personalize their work using “Add-Ons.”

Students can complete CS First lessons independently, but they are also encouraged to collaborate with one another throughout the coding process.

How CS First works

  1. You set up a class online. Anyone can teach CS First—no computer science experience required. 
  2. CS First provides the curriculum and materials, all for free.
  3. You teach the class. Lesson plans and other resources are available. (See our CS First Teacher Supports articles for more details.)

Minimum requirements to host a CS First class

Anyone can run a class anywhere as long as you have:

  1. Computers
  2. Internet (See our tips for what to do if you have slow internet or no internet.)
  3. Headphones (recommended but not required)

Benefits of creating a CS First Class

Setting up a CS First class allows you to:

  • Request physical materials (for multi-lesson units only).
  • Track student progress for students enrolled in your CS First class.
  • Gain valuable insight via reflection survey summaries.
  • Access your students projects within your teacher dashboard.
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