Bill House
Ross Elementary School
Subject: Computer Basics

Topic: Learn to use the internet to find the history of the internet, then understand enough about the internet to begin using it. 

Purpose: Students will use the internet to find information about the internet.

Materials: Computers with internet access.

Prior knowledge: None required.

Description: Students will know how to access a specific URL, navigate through the web site and find specific information.

Time: Approximately 30 minutes plus additional time to explore on your own.

Procedure: The student will listen for a few minutes about the basics of using a computer to access the internet.

URLs pertaining to lesson:


Extension: Select a topic of interest to you and find three relevant sites to visit for information.

Gender Issues: Find three sites with information on women in science.

Special thanks to:  Susan Boone of GirlTECH for her time and forethought in preparing an outline for this lesson plan.


One of the first things you may want to do when you get on the net, is check out the history of the internet. To see a timeline on the history of the internet, click on either the Yahoo or Snap link below and enter "internet timeline" into the blank space next to the search button. Click on the "search" button and select one of the timeline links to go to the timeline site. After you finish there, click your "back" button at the top left of the browser until you return to this site.

 SNAP at

If you want to know all of the terms used when talking about the internet, you may go to Geocities' Glossary or to Matisse's Glossary. If you have heard an expression that you don't know, try Interactive Glossary where you just enter the term and the search engine looks it up for you. This last glossary is a lot more fun to use.

You can even use the dictionary on line at Merriam Webster.

OK, we have learned that a URL or Uniform Resource Locater is also an address on the internet. But what are those extensions after the "meaningful" address?
  • .com = commercial
  • .edu = education
  • .gov = government
  • .mil = military
  • .net = network
  • .org = organization

Yes, but there are a lot of slashes and other names. What are they? Well, think of the website as being a large folder and there are other folders and files (pages) inside the main folder. It could look something like this:
Site name.extension/folder1/folder2/file.html.
Wait a minute. What's that ".html" at the end? Oh, that's just the file that has all of the computer language that puts text and images on the pages.

Want to "talk" to friends far away without paying postage or long distance phone bills? No problem. When you subscribed to an internet service provider (ISP) such as aol, swbell, PDQ, etc., you got email. Get into the mailbox, write your message and plug in your friend's address (or the Governor's) and send it. The address will look something like, userid@isp.ext -- my email address is -- notice that it is all lower case letters.

That's it. Here is the best part of this lesson. On your own, "surf the net."

P.S. If you like the fun graphics (the pictures) on this page, you may click here: Animated Graphics. Then click on the categories to see these and many more. The URL of this page is:

These pages were developed through
, a teacher training sponsored by the Center
for Research on Parallel Computation (CRPC)
, a National Science Foundation Science and Technology Center

Thanks to the RGK Foundation and
EOT-PACI for its generous support of GirlTECH

Copyright July,1999 Bill House