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Lesson Plan

The Purpose of The CPU

Class Name


Room / Period

Lesson Objectives

  • Be able to identify the use of the CPU
  • Be able to explain the function of the CPU in the FDE Cycle
  • Be able to analyse the impact of different aspects of CPUs


Students may select to perform an additional search via for a range of processors

  • Investigate the use of Cores in the CPU as flipped learning task
  • Produce a digital learning tool about use of cores



Keywords to be given as phonetic list.

Writing frame with URLs for investigation for some students



* don’t assume that all students have access to a PC at home **

If possible, have devices available for students to access:

  • CPU
  • Motherboard
  • Raspberry pi (if above not available)




Key Words

CPU, Processor, Instruction, Opcode, Operand, Architecture, FDE Cycle, Clock Speed, Core, Single Core, Multi-Core, GPU

Cross Curricular Links

Digital Literacy – Safe use of the Internet

English – Report on Available CPUs

Maths – Calculating CPU Speed



Starter: Ask Me

Students devise a question based on the lesson title with a Yes / No answer (5 mins)

Students ask as a group to find out as much about the lesson as possible

Activity 1: Teacher introduction of topic with Ask / Bounce​

Students create a diagram showing a cycle of:

  • Fetch
    • Get instruction from main memory using an address
  • Decode
    • Divide bit pattern into Opcode (instruction) and Operand (data)
  • Execute
    • Carry out the instruction


Activity 2: Small group roleplay

In groups, students must use the following items to construct a simulation of the processor running the FDE Cycle:

  • 3 envelopes
  • letter (with a mathematical symbol on it)
  • 2 postcards (with numbers on)
  • small whiteboard & pens

Activity 3: Flipped learning task​

Students investigate three types of processor:

  • A single core processor
  • A multi-core processor
  • A graphics processor (GPU)

​All students must answer the following questions (with / without writing frame):​

  1. What speed is the processor?
  2. Can it be faster? How?
  3. Why is it suitable for the device?
  4. How many instructions can it process per second?
  5. How does the number of cores affect the speed?


Q&A at start

Ask / Bounce questioning

Observation of roleplay

Written feedback on Investigation










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