Pre-Keys!

by Doc Frog
Lesson Two
Repeating and Deleting

In Lesson Two the Teacher or Tutor (T) models how the word processor repeats numbers when each key is held down. Then, the T introduces how to delete numbers by holding the Backspace or Delete key.

With young students who have difficulty assigning specific fingers to specific keys, trace their hands on a piece of paper and write the number of the key(s) assigned to each finger in the place where the fingernail would go.

If the T is comfortable singing, then the song, "Where is Pinky?" will help the students learn what to call each finger (pinky, ring, tall, pointer, thumb). Be sure to start with hands open flat, not closed fist, and demonstrate how the middle finger is the "tall" finger.

A. “Press and hold each number key and watch what happens (we're not using the number pad, nor the function keys, but the row of numbers and symbols just above the letter keys). Pinkey fingers on 1 and 0. Ring fingers on 2 and 9. Tall fingers on 3 and 8. Pointer fingers each cover two number keys. Left pointer on 4 and 5. Right pointer on 6 and 7.”

11111111111111

22222222222222

33333333333333

44444444444444

55555555555555

66666666666666

77777777777777

88888888888888

99999999999999

00000000000000

B. “Move the cursor (use the arrow keys or the mouse) to a spot between two different numbers. Press the Spacebar with your thumb and watch what happens. Hold the backspace key and watch what happens. Now hold the delete key and watch what happens. What was different?”


C. “Did you notice which direction the BACKSPACE works?” (to the left) “Did you notice which direction the DELETE key works?”(to the right)


D. End this activity with a speed test on the number row for 30 seconds. Graph the score and compare against the pretest.

Additional Activities:

2A. Demonstrate how pressing and releasing the backspace or delete key quickly makes one character go away, but holding it down makes a string of numbers rapidly disappear.


2B. Demonstrate how holding down the Ctrl key with the right pinky finger and pressing the Z key with the left pinky finger undoes the deletion.