Choice of Lessons

Intro to This
Web Site

1) What is TERC / Investigations

2) Software Overview

You Are Here
3) Lessons Using the Software

4) Examples of
K - 5th Grade Work

5) Resources

6) Assessment

  The Investigations unit books are the place to start for lessons. The information below is meant to supplement and extend what you find there. All the lessons here were written from the perspective of someone teaching out of a computer lab as a cluster teacher, where students come and spend 50 minutes a week.

Lessons for kindergarten are structured around filling in outlines with shapes, free exploration, and creating their own images which they make into puzzles. If you have regular use of pattern blocks in your school, all you need to do is go through some very basic directions on how to move the shapes and give them time to free explore. I recommend at this level that you get students to choose Don't Save as a norm. If you have access to a color printer the student work will look great on a bulletin board.

  1. Go through all 10 numbers on the choice Shape of Things. This is basically an outline which the student fills in with the available shapes. See the link, Examples of Work.
  2. Choose the Quick Images activity and run through the 10 numbers.
  3. Have students create their own puzzles using the choices "Create a Puzzle" and "Solve a Puzzle."
  4. Use the worksheet on Create a Puzzle for Kindergarten.
    Click Here to open a PDF worksheet to go with their puzzle making work.

First- Grade

If students have been exposed to the Kindergarten portion of this lesson they are ready to start by doing more free exploring with shapes. Using more commands to flip, turn, minimize and enlarge to make even a greater variety of designs.

In the second half of the year work begins on quilt squares, where students create quilt squares, that the computer duplicates into a quilt pattern.


Second-Graders begin their work by continuing to use the Shapes program.
First they solve more puzzles, these involving more complicated relationships, with a concentration on symmetry. The second-grade software has more choices, including a mirror activity that lets students create symmetrical images with the basic shapes.
Second-Graders also get their first exposure to Geo-Logo, in the How Far, How Long unit. In playing the Steps Game students will get introduced to moving the turtle forward and backward. In Maze they will add turning. And in Tina the Turtle they will get exposure to a grid and right angles.

Third- Grade

Third-grade is the first exposure to Logo in its full form. The choices of activities such as Get the Toys and Feed the Turtle are good game to introduce students to the full commands that navigate the turtle. One should be prepared for frustration from some students who find it difficult transferring the notion of right and left in an environment that they see as up, down and side to side. I usually revisit the How Far Geo Logo just to get everyone comfortable with the four basic commands, FD, BK, RT, and LT.

Forth- Grade

Lessons in forth-grade use the same game format to get students interested, but expand how the computer use more commands and exploration to understanding of grid and quadrant work. This software is called Geo-Logo Sunken Ships.

Further lessons here begin to ask the students to do more and more free exploring, but at the same time allow them to construct meaning of geometric forms and problem solve questions of higher level thinking. This model begins to challenge the students to create the geometric shapes that they have know in earlier Investigation lessons and from their earliest exploration of Pattern Blocks.

Fifth- Grade The lesson theme for fifth-grade is Picturing Polygons, which as the name suggests uses Logo to allow the student to nor just memorize shapes and their definitions, but construct an understanding of them by making them. Here you start to really explore the power of Geo-Logo, by creating very complex programs using both grid coordinates and programs nested within programs.