Teaching an Hour of Code?


About Hour of Codetm

The Hour of Codetm, a yearly celebration, started as a one-hour introduction to computer science, designed to demystify "code", to show that anybody can learn the basics, and to broaden participation in the field of computer science. It has since become a worldwide effort to celebrate computer science, starting with 1-hour coding activities in the classroom and expanding to all a variety of community efforts. This grassroots campaign is supported by over 400 partners and 200,000 educators worldwide. source: hourofcode.com

The Hour of Code takes place each year during Computer Science Education Week. The 2019 Computer Science Education Week will be December 9-15, but you can host an Hour of Code all year-round. Computer Science Education Week is held annually in recognition of the birthday of computing pioneer Admiral Grace Murray Hopper (December 9, 1906). source: hourofcode.com

About “Code Your Hero”

This year’s Hour of Codetm is all about using our coding power for good. That’s why to celebrate Computer Science Education Week 2019, the CS First team has created a new activity where students can use their imagination to turn a real-life hero into a superhero using code. Code Your Hero is an activity that honors the everyday heroes in our students’ lives who use their powers to better their communities. Students will use Scratch, a block-based coding language, to animate and bring a story or game to life with movement, dialogue and more. 

Using the CS First tutorial videos available in both English and Spanish, anyone can become storytellers and programmers for the day! 

How to get started (and get coding!)

  1. Create a CS First Account. 

    1. Before you begin, create an account so that students can save their work and you can track their progress.

    2. For more information on how to create an account, check out this article.
  2. Prep (a little).

    1. Like every CS First activity, Code your Hero comes with step-by-step instructions so you can be successful and have a fun Hour of Code™

      1. Optional Pre-Work Drawing Activity

      2. Code Your Hero Lesson Plan

  3. Code!

    1. Now it’s time to introduce your students to CS First. Have them sign-in with the class code and start watching the activity videos to begin!

      1. Student sign-in page

      2. Learn how to add students

  4. Show off the work!

    1. This year, we’re hosting a contest….

    2. Show us what your students create using CS First's “Code your Hero” activity for Hour of Codetm. During CS Education Week this year (December 9-15), post a picture or video of your students’ Scratch project(s) on Twitter for a chance to be featured on the official Google blog! Include a caption (200 characters or less) describing “The best part of teaching CS First for Hour of Code”, then tag @GoogleforEdu and use #csfirst and #codeyourhero to be entered. Make sure that you and your students are signed in to CS First to save their work!

    3. No purchase necessary to enter or win. Void where prohibited. Valid in the 50 United States and the District of Columbia only. Winner will be contacted the week of December 16th. See Official Rules.

About the Optional Planning Activity

This year, to help your students think about what they’d like to code, we’ve created an optional planning activity.

This optional planning activity is primarily designed for students in grades 3 through 5, but can be adapted for different ages and audiences. The activity will take approximately one hour to run. The lesson can also be taught over two 60-minute lessons if you want to provide additional time for students to discuss or write about their heros during the first lesson, and to draw and present their heroes during the second lesson.

In the first part of this activity, students identify heroes in their lives. To do this they discuss what makes someone a hero as a whole class or write about it with a partner. Questions prompt students to form their own opinions about the meaning of being a hero, choose heroes in their own lives, and identify reasons why they chose their heroes.

Next, students draw their heroes using simple shapes and prepare to create them in Scratch. Learn more about Scratch here.

By completing this activity, students practice forming an opinion and supporting it, a concept that supports one of the key anchor Common Core State Standards in writing. The activity can be extended to have students write a paragraph about their heroes.

Integrating Code Your Hero into ELA classes/work

This activity can be adapted for many different language arts classes. Refer to these standards in choosing how to adapt the activity to your class. The pre-work activity is required in order to meet these standards.


Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.

Grade 3


Introduce the topic or text they are writing about, state an opinion, and create an organizational structure that lists reasons.

Provide reasons that support the opinion.

Use linking words and phrases (e.g., because, therefore, since, for example) to connect opinion and reasons.

Provide a concluding statement or section.

Grade 4


Introduce a topic or text clearly, state an opinion, and create an organizational structure in which related ideas are grouped to support the writer's purpose.

Provide reasons that are supported by facts and details.

Link opinion and reasons using words and phrases (e.g., for instance, in order to, in addition).

Provide a concluding statement or section related to the opinion presented.

Grade 5


Introduce a topic or text clearly, state an opinion, and create an organizational structure in which ideas are logically grouped to support the writer's purpose.

Provide logically ordered reasons that are supported by facts and details.

Link opinion and reasons using words, phrases, and clauses (e.g., consequently, specifically).

Provide a concluding statement or section related to the opinion presented.

Online Professional Development Webinar: Hour of Code +CS First

To celebrate Hour of Codetm this year, we’re excited to announce a new activity from CS First - Google’s coding curriculum for elementary and middle school students, called “Code Your Hero.” To learn more about the new free activity and how to get started bringing it to your classroom, join our one-hour online webinar on Tuesday, December 3rd. Our resident instructional designer will be joined by a classroom teacher to go over all aspects of the new activity, including learning objectives, preparation materials, and best practices for running a smooth Hour of Codetm event with your students. Register today!


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