Tools for Elementary School?

Alan James Salmoni alan_salmoni at
Tue Feb 4 16:55:02 CET 2003

Hello Howard,

I haven't taught Python (though I am tempted to offer a short class in
programming to staff/postgrads at my psychology dept - a recent
attempt was made with VB with varying success), but I have heard it
recommended. For beginners, I understand that Python is a superb
choice, maybe the best.

For your second point: may I suggest PythonCard or Boa Constructor -
these are visual tools to help construct GUI's, a bit like Visual
Basic but with Python syntax. Both are based on wxPython which itself
can be a bit tricky for beginners, but that code doesn't need to be
touched for simple uses.

Alternatively, there is AnyGUI ( which
is quite cool. It is text oriented, but has very clear and simple
syntax and is easy to make little windows with buttons and things.

Point 3 - None specifically for the age group you mentioned, but there
is still the Python tutorial
( - some of us at
c.l.p. can be a bit childish at times, and I, I mean we managed with
it ;)

Hope this helps.

Alan James Salmoni.
SalStat Statistics

"Howard Dunlavy" <home at> wrote in message news:<UtF%9.87673$to3.178968 at>...
> I gave a presentation about careers in computer science at my son's
> Elementary school on Friday.  I also setup a Internet for them using Plone.
> Anyway, during the presentation one of the teachers mentioned that the
> students used to program using the built-in Basic language in their older
> PC's and Mac's.  They got rid of the last computer that had this about 3
> years ago.  They were wondering what they could do like this now.
> So I was thinking that perhaps Python is a good language for these kids to
> learn.  A couple of questions along this line of thinking:
> 1.  Has anyone had any experience using Python as a teaching language at
> this age level?  How would you compare Python to Basic for this purpose?
> 2.  Does anyone have suggestions for tools for this environment.  Python
> offers the interpreted interactivity of Basic.  Are there any tools out
> there that would be simple enough for these kids to use, but might be more
> helpful than just the "command line".
> 3.  Finally, does anyone know of any tutorials or other education materials
> that might work for this age group.
> Thanks!
> -Howard

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