Classic Computer Magazine Archive CREATIVE COMPUTING VOL. 9, NO. 7 / JULY 1983 / PAGE 296

Teacher's guide and activity book. (book reviews) Steve Gray.

Teacherhs Guide and Activity Book to accompany Computers are Fun, by Rice and O'Connor. T.S. Denison & Co. 92 pages, paperback $12.1981.

Designed to introduce computer literarcy to very young children (kindergarten through grade three). the student text isa hitech version of "See Spot run." The first paragraph starts:

Here are Bill, Kim and Jan. They are all friends. They are playing a computer game. Jan's Dad, Mr. Hanson, is watching. "Look at the ball. It moves up and down on the TV," said Jan. Dad said, "This game has a computer inside. The computer makes the ball move. There are many other games that have a computer inside."

And so the book goes, with many large photographs of large and small computers and peripherals, and many drawings of teachers and students, of products that use computers (microwave oven, airplane, spaceship), flowcharts, etc.

The six chapters discuss how computers help us, computer history, parts of a computer system, microcomputers, flowcharts, and programs. One three-line Basic program prints the answer to two simple additions, and a two-liner prints the title of the book.

The guide contains day-by-day minimum-time-frame unit out-lines fro students in kindergarten and grades 1, 2, and 3. A third of the book is devoted to activities for each chapter, and includes objectives, tells which of the 27 full-page duplicating masters to use, gives words to learn, a detailed activity guide to the student-text pages, review questions, a chapter summary, and a crossword puzzle that uses new words introduced in that chapter.

However, many of the masters involve math exercises that aren't relevant and are of little educational value to the subject. Master E presents a maze; H and I involve counting with stones; L requires coloring several computer lights red; O requires printing your names as many times as you can in a minute, etc., etc.

The guide also contains 16 pages of reference material: films on computer topics; filmstrips and other multi-media, a bibliography; and a glossary. But most of the films and filmstrips listed are not for young children.

The text is a good introduction to computer technology, if the child can read it. But the activity guide isn't worth the $12; any competent teacher could read the text, learn from its, and come up with activities on her own.

Review Grade: D