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Keyboarding with ASCII Art

Posted by on March 10, 2015

I’ve written about ASCII Art (click for ASCII Art directions) and use it as an integral part of my keyboarding curriculum. It’s a fun way for students to use keyboarding in a creative, unique way. The way I teach it, it doesn’t take long to complete, say thirty minutes for a complete drawing like these:



Girlfriend Curious to the Max Judy posting this article on Extreme ASCII. Paul Smith creates drawings that look like this:

Here’s the story:

What a great story for my students–and me!

Jacqui Murray has been teaching K-8 technology for 15 years. She is the editor/author of over a hundred tech ed resources including a K-8 technology curriculum, K-8 keyboard curriculum, K-8 Digital Citizenship curriculum. She is an adjunct professor in tech ed, CSG Master Teacher, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, Editorial Review Board member for Journal for Computing Teachers, CAEP reviewer, CSTA presentation reviewer, freelance journalist on tech ed topics, and a weekly contributor to TeachHUB. You can find her resources at Structured Learning.

updated 4-14-16

6 Responses to Keyboarding with ASCII Art

  1. Amy

    Wow! Thank you so much for posting this story. I can’t wait to share it with my students! So heartwarming!

  2. Maru Busico-Flight

    Will share in class as soon as school resumes after spring break. I have a student with CP, this will work great!
    Just FYI your link (click for ASCII Art directions), is broken.

  3. jennilee67 (Jennifer Campbell)

    I am currently planning for my formal observation. This will be a great topic to introduce in my lesson! The video is very inspiring! My 5th Graders will love it! I’m thinking of all of the Standards this will hit, and trying to come up with my objectives. (I always try to make my objectives too detailed… I need to focus it. What one specific thing would you look for to formatively assess when I walk around and observe their work as students try for the first time to create their own ASCII Art? Or, would you recommend giving them specific directions to follow to create one that is already designed? If so, do you have any resources for that? -Your link for “directions” is not functioning.)

    Thank you so much!

    • Jacqui

      Thanks for the heads-up about the Directions link. I’ve fixed it, but here it is–

      There’s a good video on tying art (like ASCII art) into Common Core here.

      As for keyboarding and Common Core Standards, here’s a good go-to list from the Common Core Standards (slightly rephrased) why keyboarding skills are important in all corners of learning:

      Expect students to demonstrate sufficient command of keyboarding to type a minimum of one page [two by fifth grade, three by sixth] in a single sitting
      Expect students to evaluate different media (e.g., print or digital …)
      Expect students to gather relevant information from print and digital sources
      Expect students to integrate and evaluate information presented in diverse media and formats
      Expect students to interpret information presented visually, orally, or quantitatively (e.g., … interactive elements on Web pages)
      Expect students to make strategic use of digital media
      Expect students to use glossaries or dictionaries, both print and digital …
      Expect students to use information from illustrations and words in print or digital text
      Expect students to use a variety of media in communicating ideas
      Expect students to use technology and digital media strategically and capably
      Expect students to use text features and search tools (e.g., key words, sidebars, hyperlinks) to locate information

      Knowing how to keyboard is at the crux of all of these Standards. ASCII Art is a fun way to hone those skills–must know key placement, removes the boring nature of rote and drill, and involves visual learners where they thrive.

      Does that help? Let me know if I can answer anything else for you.

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