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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 drive, SSD, ports, CPU, RAM, mouse, keyboard, stylus, monitor, microphone, 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 Is hardware improving?  In what way?  How far can hardware continue to improve and what are the factors which help or hinder this.  Is expensive hardware "better"?
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 should show that they can appreciate the hardware they use and are informed digital consumers. They need to show some evidence that they know the cost and performance rations for hardware and can apply some basic knowledge to make informed decisions.

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
  • Continue to explore hardware components
  • Investigation of components features and functions
  • 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 begin to appreciate what hardware does and how it functions in the whole of a computer.

See how well students can identify key components and some of their features.  See if they can explain it to others.

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.


Lesson Structure Possible structure
  1. continuing to investigate hardware components
  2. investigate in detail more 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.

has some useful overviews of hardware elements.

Homework Get students to continue 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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