The Point, Click and Go Try-It will teach your troop the essential computer skills they will need for school, recreation and for future careers. In today’s world computers are increasingly present in our children’s lives. Not only is learning these computer skills essential for your child’s future success, the Point, Click and Go Try-It can also be great fun for your troop.
To earn the Point, Click and Go Try-It you need to do four of the six activities listed in the Brownie Try-It Handbook. To do these activities you will need access to a computer, a printer, paper and possibly internet access. Unless you have these items at your normal meeting place, you may have to hold these meetings in your home.
Careful planning is essential in this Try-It to make these activities fun. The first two activities do not allow for many fun activities, but they will provide the basic fundamentals that will allow the girls to use a computer. If you review Making a Computer Work and Computer Language before you plan your other activities, you can incorporate all of the essential elements into the other more fun activities.
Making the Computer Work
Making the Computer Work covers most of the basic elements of using a computer and is a great place to start. Because most of the tasks in this activity are very basic and not overly interesting or fun, the best way to accomplish it is to incorporate the elements into the other activities. To complete this activity you will need to have the girls learn and demonstrate the following skills:
How to turn on the computer.
How to start computer programs.
How to use the mouse.
How to handle storage media like CDs and DVDs.
How and where to save something you have created.
How to print.
How to turn off the computer when they are finished.
The computer language activity is similar to the Making the Computer Work activity in that it is not very task orientated or fun. This is another activity that is geared more towards teaching. This activity is also best accomplished by incorporating the terms that need to be learned into the other activities as you do them. Some of the terms the girls should be exposed to are:
Your Computer’s Desktop
Writing a Story
Learning to write a story will expose your troop to many of the essentials of computers while allowing them to express themselves as an individual or as a group. When you do this activity remember the skills and terms that they need to learn from Making the Computer Work and Computer Language.
A fun way to accomplish this activity is to have the girls work together to write a group story. Each girl can take a turn writing one or two sentences of the story then move to the next girl. This process can make for some interesting and fun stories.
While they are working through this activity be sure to explain to the girls the different parts of the computer (hardware), and show them how to open the software program that you will use to write. While they are writing you can allow them to change fonts and colors, making the writing more fun while they learn new terms and skills. When the story is done you can show them how and where to save their project and how to print their story.
Playing a Game
If you have games that are age appropriate for your troop you can spend time showing the girls how to use the computer to insert CDs, start the games and turn off the games when they are done playing them. This activity is only limited to what games you or your troop members have available. When game time is over, talk with the girls about what they liked or didn’t like about the games and ask what they would do to change the games.
Once your troop has learned the basics of using a computer they can spend time working together to create announcements, invitations, thank you cards, posters or anything else your troop might need or want to make. This activity can help reduce your workload as a troop leader, while letting the girls express themselves. Your imagination is the only limit to what the girls can create. Have the girls print what they make to use in future activities or to bring home to their parents.
The talk time activity will introduce your troop to messaging and social media. When doing this activity be sure to talk with the parents in your troop to determine what they are comfortable allowing. Also be sure to teach online safety when using these functions.
One fun idea for your troop might be to set up a Twitter account for your troop and for each girl’s parents. Use Twitter throughout a meeting to send messages and updates about what you are doing and learning and watch for responses from the parents. This will be fun for the girls and is a safe and controllable way to learn how to communicate.
The Point, Click and Go Try-It will help give the girls in your troop exposure to many of the basic computer tasks that they will need in school and at home. Completing this Try-It may take several meetings to accomplish, but it can be well worth your time. You can have a lot of fun as a troop, make creative and productive projects and learn all at the same time.
Girl Scouts of the USA, “Try-Its For Brownie Girl Scouts”