Computer Parts & Hardware Lesson Plan

Instructor: Heather Jenkins

Heather has a bachelor's degree in elementary education and a master's degree in special education. She was a public school teacher and administrator for 11 years.

This lesson introduces students to the parts of a computer. Students will create their own 3D model of a computer and identify its parts and their functions. Additionally, they will produce group skits about how the parts of the computer work together.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of the lesson, students will be able to:

  • Identify and describe the two types of computer system units
  • Identify different parts of a computer
  • Describe the function of different computer parts


2+ hours (plus additional time for extension activity)

Curriculum Standards

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST.9-10.2

Determine the central ideas or conclusions of a text; trace the text's explanation or depiction of a complex process, phenomenon, or concept; provide an accurate summary of the text.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST.9-10.4

Determine the meaning of symbols, key terms, and other domain-specific words and phrases as they are used in a specific scientific or technical context relevant to grades 9-10 texts and topics.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST.9-10.7

Translate quantitative or technical information expressed in words in a text into visual form (e.g., a table or chart) and translate information expressed visually or mathematically (e.g., in an equation) into words.


  • Boxes (pizza boxes, shoeboxes, etc.)
  • Cardboard pieces and/or construction paper
  • Art supplies (paint, markers, colored pencils, etc.)
  • Adhesive labels
  • Copies of the video transcript and/or lesson quiz (optional)
  • Old computers (for extension activity)


  • Ask the class to identify what they know about computers. This could be knowledge about what they do, how they are made, the history, etc.
  • Inform the students that today they will be looking inside the computer to see how it functions.
  • Play the video lesson Computer System Components: Computer Parts & Functions pausing at 3:54. Consider providing the students with copies of the video transcript to follow along with during the video.
  • Discuss the following questions with the students:
    • What are the two types of system units? How are they the same and different?
    • What is the motherboard? What does it do?
    • Why is the central processing unit like the brains of the computer?
    • What is the difference between memory, cache, RAM, and ROM?
    • What is the hard drive? What does it do?
  • Continue to play the remainder of the video lesson, then discuss:
    • What function do video and sound cards have in the computer?
    • What are the different options for connecting to a network/internet?
    • What are optical drives? What do they do?
    • What are some examples of peripheral devices? What are their functions?
    • Which part of the computer do you think is the most important? Why?

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