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Code Without a Computer

Ryan Adams on Flickr

Not everyone has a computer to learn how to code. And — strangely enough — sometimes a computer gets in the way of learning to code, by adding complexity. The Coding Workbook requires only a pen or pencil to learn how to code a simple website. It’s an exercise book with perforated pages, lots of illustrations, and progress quizzes.

HTML and CSS are not difficult to learn. There are maybe half a dozen HTML tags, for example, that are used repeatedly when creating web pages. CSS is a little more difficult to learn but not impossible. CSS works like a Microsoft Word stylesheet, organizing look and feel directions into a single file or code stored within an HTML web page.

The book teaches HTML starting with the web page structure. Then you learn how to use HTML to create the elements of a page, for example, images and links, as well as tag paragraphs and headings. CSS is taught by creating a file then using styles to define how fonts and text display. There’s also a section about how to use CSS to set margins between paragraphs and around images. Both the HTML and CSS sections also show how to nest tags and styles.

What’s unique about this book is that you begin with a pen or pencil and work through the exercises. When finished, writing code by hand should translate nicely to typing HTML and CSS into actual files. Typing reinforces handwriting.

Written by Sam Taylor, a middle school STEM teacher, the book is the result of teaching herself to code by posting simple tutorials on her blog. Using pen or pencil and paper instead of a computer is deliberate. As a teacher, she found many students didn’t have a computer in school or at home.

This book is ideal for students and anyone interested to get started creating web pages who want a friendly and approachable way to get started.

The Coding Workbook: Build a Website with HTML & CSS
by Sam Taylor
December 2020, 136 pp.
ISBN-13: 9781718500310

Learn More

The Coding Workbook


Interview with Sam Taylor


Conversations with Women in STEM: An Interview with Sam Taylor


kids coding workbook