How to Teach Python to Middle Schoolers

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Enter the exciting realm of programming, more so with Python. Coding is an important craft to learn. It teaches a kid to experiment, and problem-solve, plus gives them the confidence to be creative.

Python provides kids with a platform to design something that’s entirely their own. Middle Schoolers master fundamental programming concepts like variable operators, and control flow constructs, among others.

Exposure to this programming language alongside interactive learning plays a key role in the success of kids in highly challenging material. Let’s discuss.

Why Should Middle Schoolers Learn Python

Computer programming and coding is no longer the preserve of computer scientists; rather, it has become an essential skill in any career. Python programming for kids is one of the best ways to learn and master coding skills for a beginner.

Here’s why Middle Schoolers should learn Python:

  • It triggers their critical thinking ability by bringing the creative element out of every child. Python requires the use of logical thinking, and this tends to boost a subject’s reasoning.
  • It builds problem-solving skills, which are essential in daily life. Learning python programming early enables the child to master the skill at their growing age. And that will go a long way throughout their life.
  • Develops resilience where they fail and then succeed. Such a setting facilitates learning in the best possible way. Middle schoolers may fail to accomplish a particular task, but their zeal to succeed does not decrease. Python programming teaches them to remain optimistic no matter what, and that ultimately, you need to try something in order to have a chance at success
  • Python is novice-friendly and easy to understand in a unique way. Unlike other programming languages, Python doesn’t use complex symbols and abbreviations. It builds on manageable steps to yield results. Plus, it’s easy to learn even for kids without prior programming experience.
  • Middle schoolers will never outgrow Python since it is one of the programming languages used extensively by experienced data scientists and software engineers.

Ways to Teach Middle Schoolers Python

Kids’ early exposure to Python programming will have a long-term favorable impact on their experience and future success. Thanks to such early exposure to programming, many children get the ideal platform to help them pursue other areas of computer science like data management or software engineering.

Here’s how you can teach Python programming to kids in middle school:

Python Programming

Teach Them All the Essential Concepts of Python

Familiarize the children with the main coding concepts of Python. These are:

  • Variables
  • Data
  • Input and Output
  • Conditionals
  • Loops
  • List
  • String
  • Function
  • Libraries

1. Incentivize the Children

To motivate middle schoolers while teaching them Python programming, gamification can be a fitting incentive to facilitate successful learning. In this framework, introduce competitions, scores, and rewards, and you improve the kids’ attention.

2. Structure the Lessons as Projects

Children learn python programming best when the lessons are structured as projects. They start small and build their proficiency up with multiple projects over the weeks.

Here’s a list of some helpful links that are suitable for helping kids develop python projects:

  • Trinket (the site has support for educators)
  • iD Tech
  • CheckiO
  • Raspberry Pi Foundation (RPF)

3. Limit Overwhelming and Exasperation Concerns

An easy, seamless introduction to the basics of Python will minimize any feelings of frustration among middle schoolers as programming beginners.

Taking such steps shows the children Python isn’t as complicated as it seems.

4. Keep it Simple, Visual, and Process-Oriented

Teaching middle schoolers Python can be simplified through the use of visual aids. These visual aids make the learning process less abstract for the children—allowing learners’ to understand programming in totality.

Middle schoolers should be taught Python in short segments of multiple pictures and texts that work as small bits of highly organized visual information. 

5. Constant Practice

Like any other skill middle schoolers learn, such as algebra, they should constantly apply the skills they learn. Such a strategy allows kids to polish up their knowledge of Python programming. 

6. Incorporate the use of Robots and Toys

Educational tech toys can also help teach middle schoolers Python programming. For instance, through the use of coding logic to control lights, sounds, and interactive play.

Introduce the robots and toys to create a fun and engaging environment—such a plan helps retain the kid’s attention.

Kids Computer Class

Python Programming Classes for Kids

A child who learns how to code will have an added advantage in life, with more employment opportunities available to them. No matter the job industry these code programmers decide to enter—be it the technology sector, banking/finance, retail, health, or any other profession, coding skills will be a plus. On top of that when kids learn to code they are also learning key problem-solving skills that will be essential for any career path, not just coding. This is a key reason why python programming should be taught as early as middle school.