The impact of learning to code on elementary students’ writing skills

Jane Thompson, Gina Childers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The purpose of this research was to investigate how learning to code, using Google's CS First's Storytelling lessons, impacted elementary students' writing skills, writing stamina, and perceptions of writing abilities. In this mixed methods study, 49 fifth grade students participated in Google's CS First's Storytelling lessons focused on developing stories through coding during a school district's summer program. Fifth grade students (elementary level) completed pre- and post-writing assessments to measure 1) overall writing skills, 2) development of ideas, writing organization, grammar and usage, and mechanics, and 3) writing stamina. After completing the lessons and assessments, 10 students participated in a semi-structured interview to document perceptions of their writing abilities and engagement in writing. The results of this study show there was a significant increase in the overall scores on a pre- and post-writing assessment as well as writing stamina, and the interviews revealed that students were motivated in the storytelling process through narrative writing. The findings of this study support the implementation of coding programs as a tool for classroom instruction and the promotion of the development of writing skills for elementary students.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104336
JournalComputers and Education
StatePublished - Dec 2021


  • Coding
  • Elementary education
  • Instructional strategy
  • Writing skills


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