Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Opened, Found and Closed

Lucretia Brannon


Students open a word processing program to retrieve files containing a word. They then write down the words and turn them into the teacher.


-A word processing program (Clarisworks, Appleworks, Word, etc.)
-Index cards


1. Check functionality of computers and word processing program (Clarisworks, Appleworks, Word).
2. Create files containing one word per file, per student.
3. Name the files “word1, word2,” etc.
4. Label each computer with a number.
5. On the blank side of a small index card write a number that corresponds with the number of students and computers.
6. Upload the word file to each computer.


1. Gather students on the floor in front of your desk. Demonstrate to the students that retrieving files from a computer is much the same as going to a desk, opening a drawer, finding what is needed, and of course, closing all the drawers when finished.

2. Explain that today students will be going to their desks (their computers), opening a drawer (an application), locating an item (file), then closing all the drawers on the desk.

3. Discuss that the computer is like a desk because it holds many different things, but the things can be located in different parts of the desk. In order to find anything in the desk, it is important to know where it is kept. Continue discussing that drawers help to narrow down where something might be, the top drawer, middle drawer, skinny drawer, bottom drawer, and so on.

4. Direct attention to the computers (desks) and explain that students are looking for a file on the computer much the same way as retrieving something from a desk drawer.

5. Discuss the icons on the desktop calling attention to the icon for the application you are using (Clarisworks, Appleworks, Word, ect.). Remind students that choosing an icon is like choosing a drawer in the desk to open. When the drawer is open, students then look in the drawer for the needed item (file).

6. Demonstrate using the mouse to place the cursor on top of the application icon and double clicking to open it.

7. Discuss the proper procedure for closing. First close the file(s) then close the application. Relate it to closing up their “desks” so that they are neat and nothing gets lost.

8. Hand out index cards with a number written on the back that corresponds to the computer where the student will be working.

9. Direct students to go to assigned computers, open the application from the desktop and locate the files containing the words on their own.

10. Students write the word that is saved in the file on an index card, fold it, and hold it in the air for the teacher to collect. As the teacher collects the card, he/she observes the student closing the file and, finally, the application.


Collect an index card from each student which contains a word found in the assigned word document. As a card is collected from each student, observe the student closing the file. Students who are unable to complete this activity should be given further instruction and another opportunity to complete the task.

Note: Circulate and formatively assess students as they use the technology tools. Provide assistance for students who are experiencing difficulty and monitor accordingly.
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