1, 2, 3, code! - Discover the project


Dossiers de présentation du projet

Téléchargez le Dossier de présentation du Tome 1 en PDF.

Téléchargez le Dossier de présentation du Tome 2 en PDF

The Benefits of Teaching Young Children Computer Science

All learning should enable children, adolescents (and adults!) to understand the world they live in and prepare them to play an active role in it. Recent transformations in how we communicate, our leisure activities, social interactions and production tools, for example, are intimately linked to advances in computer technology, to the extent that today we talk about the “digital world”. This new world bears many hopes for technological progress, job creation, but also raises concerns, particularly in the field of ethics and privacy.

From preparing children for the jobs of the future, helping them understand the things and networks around them — so that they are not passively subjected to them but able to act on them — to making them aware of civic challenges and encouraging cooperation and developing their creativity, everyone should be taught to use computers, from as early an age as possible.

A consensus has begun to develop in recent years, uniting the scientific community and economic actors and policymakers. France introduced an optional course for final year high school students on computer and digital sciences, and now computer science is being taught in primary and middle schools too.

Pour plus de détail sur les motivations d’un enseignement de l’informatique, nous renvoyons le lecteur à trois rapports publiés récemment : « L’enseignement de l’informatique en France, Il est urgent de ne plus attendre » (rapport de l’Académie des sciences, mai 2013), « Ecole Jules Ferry 3.0 : bâtir une école créative et juste dans un monde numérique » (Conseil national du numérique, octobre 2014) et « Sécurité numérique et risques : enjeux et chances pour les entreprises » (office parlementaire d’évaluation des choix scientifiques et technologiques, février 2015).

New Curricula Create an Enabling Environment

In September 2016, and for the first time in France, computer science made an appearance in the national education system’s curricula for primary school and middle school. 

While it is not yet identified as a separate subject, computer science is no longer restricted to simply using digital tools — as has been the practice for three decades through the ICT approach — and is now considered as a group of specific concepts and methods .

In addition to learning about these concepts and methods, computer science provides an excellent opportunity to conduct active lessons — either through inquiry-based learning or by projects — and therefore develops cross-curricular skills such as decision-making, reasoning, discussion, working independently, collaboration, etc.


Principles of the “1,2,3...Code!” Project

The “1,2,3...Code!” project created by the Foundation La main à la pâte with support from the scientific community (in particular INRIA, the French Institute for Research in Computer Science and Automation) aims to introduce students and teachers to computer science, from kindergarten to end of 6th grade.

It offers plugged activities (requiring a computer, tablet or automated device) that introduce programming basics and unplugged activities (computer science without a computer) that allow the teacher to address fundamental concepts in computer sciences (algorithms, languages, how information is shown, etc.).

unplugged activities
plugged activities
without computer
with a computer
with a pad
with a robot

These activities are organized in ready-to-use progressions specially designed for each cycle, with an emphasis on a multidisciplinary approach and active learning such as inquiry-based learning or project learning.

These progressions are easily adaptable to both computer-equipped (or with tablets or automated devices) or non-equipped classes.

Tools for the teacher and the student

The “1, 2, 3...Code!” project is based on two teaching manuals, amongst which the present one includes:


Titre : 1, 2, 3... codez ! enseigner l'informatique à l'école et au collège - cycles 1, 2 et 3
Editions Le Pommier, juin 2016
ISBN 978-2-7465-1106-4
358 pages, couleurs
Prix : 21 €
Voir le livre sur le site de l'éditeur

La Fondation La main à la pâte offre 10 000 guides pédagogiques aux enseignants. Voir ici pour savoir comment en bénéficier.

Titre : 1, 2, 3... codez ! Tome 2 - Six projets d'informatique pour le collège (cycle 4)
Editions Le Pommier, juin 2017
ISBN 978-2-7465-1251-1
408 pages, couleurs
Prix : 21 €
Voir le livre sur le site de l'éditeur

La Fondation La main à la pâte offre des exemplaires de ce guide aux participants des formations du réseau des Maisons pour la science.


Authors and acknowledgements

“1,2,3...Code!”, a teaching project designed by the Foundation La main à la pâte, was produced with the support of the French Institute for Research in Computer Science and Automation (Inria) and the association France IOI.


  • David Wilgenbus (La main à la pâte)

Design and writing

  • David Wilgenbus (La main à la pâte)
  • Mathieu Hirtzig La main à la pâte)
  • Claire Calmet (La main à la pâte)

With the support of:

  • Gilles Dowek (Inria)
  • Marie Duflot Kremer (Inria)
  • Mathias Hiron (France IOI)
  • Florent Masseglia (Inria)
  • Elena Pasquinelli (La main à la pâte)
  • Pierre-Yves Oudeyer (Inria)
  • Sophie de Quatrebarbes (Inria)
  • Martin Quinson (Inria)
  • Didier Roy (Inria)
  • Thierry Vieville (Inria)

Tests en classe

The authors would also like to thank the teachers across France who tested this project in their classrooms, as well as the teacher trainers who assisted them. Their feedback was invaluable in the drafting of this teaching manual. Sincere thanks to:

  • Laurence Bensaid
  • Manuel Binet
  • Jean-Christophe Bizot
  • Cédric Blacha
  • Willy Bouichou
  • Anne-Sophie Boullis
  • Stéphane Caubet
  • Catherine Clerc
  • Olivier Cogis
  • Typhaine Collignon
  • Marik Cosson
  • Christelle Crusberg
  • Jeanne Daufin
  • Brigitte Dechosal
  • Nicolas Demarthe
  • Catherine Dicky
  • Murielle Ducroo
  • Stéphanie-Anne Echaniz
  • Kévin Faix
  • Caroline Fayard
  • Elisa Flamand
  • Marc Fouré
  • Olivier Gagnac
  • Marie Gervais
  • Cédric Groise
  • Vanessa Guionie
  • Anna Halatchev
  • Rudi Helfenstein
  • Julien Kunstowicz
  • Lahcene Lahmiani
  • Gwenaelle Lavoine
  • Anne-Marie Lebrun
  • Claire Ledain
  • Catherine Le Frapper
  • Jérôme Li
  • Martine Lizambert
  • Brigitte Malnati
  • Anne Marigiano
  • Valérie Martin
  • Jessica Mazoyer
  • Anne-Hélène Montfort
  • David Palcy
  • Nathalie Pasquet
  • Pascale Priez
  • Marie-Laure Prost
  • Fatima Rahmoun
  • Mathieu Reydet
  • Serge Sauton
  • Sylvain Soulard
  • Richart Terrat
  • Nicolas Thiéry
  • Carole Vinel
  • Emmanuelle Wilgenbus
  • Gabrielle Zimmermann


  • Gabrielle Zimmermann (La main à la pâte)


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