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Section Title Primary information Description and Notes Suggested resources
Lesson Length The expected lesson length will be approximately one hour

Some variation possible.

Assessment Level 1

Students The lesson is suitable for KS3 and KS4 students Since this is a new specification, the lesson is suitable for Year 7 to 9 students and differentiated by outcome  
Overall Focus

The focus for this criterion is for the students to investigate and assess all the different types of hardware and some of their properties

Students should be introduced to as many different hardware elements as possible and be allowed to test how they work and what their functions are

Lesson Links: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39

Key words USB, Hard disk, SSD, serial port, parallel port, CPU, RAM, mouse, keyboard, monitor, PSU, VGA, PCI These words need to be reinforced throughout the series of lessons  

compare hardware components on the basis of their properties

Evidence here will be student's own work, eportfolios and assessor observations  
Key Questions Some questions to get learners thinking about the topics Students will need to show that they know the basic aspects of the main hardware components and can work with them in order to know where they work and what some of the best features are What is hardware?  What are the main hardware components in a computer?  What features do they need to have?  How do you measure what they do or can do?  How do they affect a computer?
Learning Objectives
  • understanding hardware components
  • be able to explain the features of the main components
  • be able to discuss the difference between component features and specifications

Students will need to be able to identify and use a range of hardware components and know some of the main characteristics which will enable them to know where nad how to use them

Their write-ups need to show they understand the main ideas and can be critical users of digital systems.

If you are using the Learning Machine learning system, students can add their comments and material to this site as evidence of their growing understanding.  The site, if used consistently, will show progression via charts of activity and outcomes.
Teaching and Learning Elements
  • Introduction to hardware components
  • Investigation of components
  • Students can break into groups and work on a range of hardware devices to investigate their features and functions
  • Class discussion and examples of their findings
  • Group or individual work on describing devices

Students should be able to instigate as many hardware components as possible and preferably compare them side by side by different manufacturers.

You could divide students up into groups to investigate different hardware components and report back to the class, this will cover more components and allow students to improve their presentation skills.

It might be interesting to look at the development of components.  Look at old motherboards and components to see how they have changed.

Use some of the student's ideas and examples to flesh out a solid understanding before progressing

Question students about how and why they did what they did.  Check for understanding.

Huish Eposcopi school logo have built an excellent interactive learning module where students can click on components in relation to questions.

Lesson Structure Possible structure
  1. introduction to hardware components
  2. investigate in detail one of a range of components to illustrate the way to evaluate the features and functions
  3. write up of hardware features and functions
  4. discuss what they have learned and what they can apply
  5. volunteers to share their work and explain how they came to their opinions
  6. highlight next week's focus and issue homework

Silicon chip image A good place to look at some of the features of hardware components are commercial websites which sell the parts. You can go to the manufacturer's websites as well.  Some of the following will be useful:

Saverstore logo Dabs logo  eBuyer logo

You could also use something like Amazon as it has reviews, but components might not be so easy to find.

 is a good place to look for some basic definitions as well and usually has some of the background history.


Homework Get students to compile a table of information about key hardware components: price, capacity, OS compatibility, performance, connections etc. Students can vary their homework depending on their level of understanding Get students to document their experience on their portfolio system for assessment


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