Google Docs is one of the most popular applications in middle school computer courses.
With it, students can do everything they can in Microsoft Word and then some.
Whether it’s collaboration, modification, or cross-platform compatibility, Google Docs is a powerful tool that today’s students need to know how to use.
So that leaves one big question.
How do you teach it?
These are the five best places to find Google Docs lesson plans:
On this page we'll get into the details of each resource to help you plan the best Google Docs lesson possible.
Let's get to it!
Cult of Pedagogy is one of the most popular outlets for Google Docs lesson plans.
Actually, only a small portion of their lessons have to do with Google Docs. The rest cover other parts of the Google Applications and Google Drive suite.
But you can still get a lot of educational value from using their Google Docs lessons independently.
As the name implies, these Google Docs lessons are projects. They give students hands-on experience with Google Docs instead of making them follow along in a book.
Each project directs students to use Google Docs in a new way that helps them learn different features of the software. That includes research citations, blogging, and collaboration, among others.
This works great for larger classes where students want to dive into the same subjects together. It’s ideal for peer-to-peer learning, especially when you have some students ahead of the pack and others that struggle.
These projects are also useful for smaller classes where you want students to work at their own pace. They’ll be able to walk through the projects themselves instead of feeling the pressure to keep up with the class as a whole.
The downside is that these lessons are just lessons. You’ll have to grade them by hand — even when you’re on a computer.
Plus, Google Docs has an infinite capacity for revisions, meaning students could technically change whatever they submitted to you unless they’re locked out of their accounts.
Even with these downsides, you can get a ton of value from these projects by incorporating them into your computer apps curriculum.
It just depends on what’s right for your classroom!
If you’re looking for age-appropriate Google Docs lessons, Effingham County Middle School is your best source.
These lessons come straight from middle school teachers themselves. They’re hand-crafted for students between sixth and eighth grades.
These lessons start with a brief vocabulary overview that highlights each Google application. That starts your students from the same point so they have the context to learn any Google Application.
Next, the lesson plan links to Google for Education’s Computer Science section, where you can find dozens of different resources on how to teach Google Docs.
This is paired with another article that delves into how you can use these lessons to the best possible advantage.
Then, it’s up to you which activities you want to use for your classroom.
Effingham Middle School also has its own activities pre-made for a middle school computer class. These all revolve around different features of Google Docs, which you can use at your own discretion.
The biggest advantage of Effingham Middle School’s Google Docs lessons is the variety of activities. You can pick them up, throw them into your syllabus, and you’re ready to go!
Still, there’s no grading solution for all of this Internet-based work. That means you’ll have to grade every activity by hand, even though it’s on a computer!
That makes Effingham’s lessons a great starting point or supplement for a Google Docs curriculum. But they’re not necessarily cut out to be the curriculum themselves.
The Google Docs Tutorial on Lesson Plans Page was made by computer teacher Leon Hudson. Unlike the last two resources in this list, Hudson laid out an implementation guide for his Google Docs lessons that’s easy and insightful.
The lesson starts with a list of goals, objectives, and required materials. That way, you’re 100% prepared to walk your students through everything.
Hudson even goes so far as to illustrate the step-by-step process teachers can follow to get the best results.
The steps seem to be based on a scaffolding or foundational system of education, meaning students learn the most important concepts first and fill in the details as they progress.
The lesson emphasizes collaboration, document creation, file uploads, and more.
Overall, this tutorial gives students a great vision of what Google Docs entails while also learning cross-application skills (like uploads).
On the other hand, the lesson is pretty short. Don’t expect this to take much longer than a single class period unless you throw your own spin on it.
Your students will learn a lot of basic skills as they move through Google Docs. In that respect, this lesson plan is pretty thorough.
But your students won’t get the practice and refinement they need to really hone their skills. That means you’ll have some work to do when it comes to reinforcement.
Tom Barrett has a Google Slides presentation designed to teach you different ways to use Google Applications in the classroom.
It’s important to note here that his title is a bit of a misnomer. When he says “34 Interesting Ways to Use Google Docs,” he’s actually referring to Google Applications in general.
That means his slideshow refers to Google Docs, Sheets, Forms, and Slides.
Still, the information on Google Docs is strong enough for you to design at least a few lessons.
Barrett’s ideas include highly-technical concepts like checking statistics, adding footnotes, searching, commenting, collaborating, and more.
This is ideal if you want to show students the breadth and scope of Google Docs in terms of capability. There’s practically a guarantee that your students will enjoy at least one element of these lessons, even if it’s just looking up a document’s statistics.
Barrett even goes a little behind-the-scenes and recommends ways for you to collaborate you’re your colleagues through Google Docs, allowing you to facilitate work across courses.
In other words, Barrett guides you through lesson creation, implementation, and assessment all with one free resource.
But you’ll still have to assign and grade everything yourself. Barrett’s information is based on a system where teachers are in total control, which doesn’t offer much structure for features like automatic grading.
The final option for middle school Google Docs lesson plans is Business&ITCenter21.
We created Business&ITCenter21 as an all-inclusive digital curriculum that you can fully customize to meet the needs of your computer classroom.
It’s designed based on a proven system of education called the Four Phases, which focuses on long-term information and skill retention.
Plus, with automatic grading, independent work, and interactive activities, Business&ITCenter21 gives you a whole lot more than just a lesson plan.
Besides, you’re teaching digital skills. It only makes sense that you use a digital curriculum!
The downside to this is payment. Business&ITCenter21 is the only paid product on this list.
But that’s because it gives you a whole lot more than just plans. By using Google Docs Essentials and Fundamentals in Business&ITCenter21, you can plan, teach, and assess like never before.