Birth of Bits and Bytes

Birth of Bits and Bytes lesson plan

Build a flow chart to show the early achievements of computer scientists in the early days of the modern computer.

  • 1.

    Research the development of modern computer technology using library and electronic resources. Find out about the ENIAC, the first computer, which was introduced on February 14, 1946. Discuss the origins of the modern computer and the use of flow charts to create programming.

  • 2.

    On poster board, use a ruler and Crayola® Markers to map out an array of blocks and arrows to resemble a flow chart.

  • 3.

    In each block, and in chronological order, write the date and brief information about various developments in computer technology.

  • 4.

    Add a jagged line border at top and bottom with various marker colors. Stop at flow chart blocks to give the illusion that the border continues beneath the blocks. Make small line drawings of researchers and scientists in empty spaces.


  • Students research the development of modern computer technology using traditional and electronic search tools.
  • Students organize and present information about computer development in the form of a flow chart.


  • Challenge pairs of students to research information using only electronic resources. Record findings on paper in the form of a flow chart (using if/then or yes/no statements) and show the various avenues taken. Collaborate with information technology spec
  • Locate appropriate electronic resources for younger students. Provide a note-taking form to fill out with ideas. Children trace rectangular pieces of cardboard to create a wall-size flow chart.
  • Interview people who remember what life was like before computers. How did people write stories and reports? How were inventions designed? How were financial records kept? What information resources were available?