Data Types
Time 1.3 hrs

Difficulty Beginner
Prerequisites Variables
Departments Science
Authors Sandra Kuipers
Groupings Individual
Minimum Year Group None


Data comes in many forms: numbers, letters, symbols, and more. This unit looks at primitive data types and how they make up the building blocks of all programming languages.


This work is shared under the following license: Creative Commons BY-SA-NC


Learner Outcomes
Students will:
  • ...
Competency Focus
  • ...
Interdisciplinary Connections
  • ...
What was successful? What needs changing? Alternative Assessments and Lesson Ideas? What other Differentiation Ideas/Plans could be used?
  • ...
Any CC attribution, thanks, credit, etc.

This page requires you to be logged in to access it. Please login and try again.
10 mins
What is Data?
Getting Started
  • A computer stores information as data.
  • A bindary digit (bit) is the smallest form of data.
  • Binary can be used to store 1s and 0s.
  • All other types of data start with binary, and are converted into something more meaningful:

5 mins
Types of Data
  • The variables in our code can store many different types of data.
  • Chances are, you've already seen and used some data types in your code.
  • Some programming languages are loosely typed:
    • This means they don't require you to declare a type upfront.
    • For example, a var in JavaScript can hold any type of data.
    • We can also combine different types without creating an error.
    • In JavaScript, the code "Hello Cat" + 5; will create the string "Hello Cat5".
  • Some programming languages are strictly typed:
    • This means each variable must be declared with its data type.
    • For example, in C#, a string myVar; can only hold data that is a string.
    • Combining variables with different types generally creates an error.
  • The following are some of the most common types of data.
5 mins
True and False
  • The boolean type has only two values: true and false.

    This type is commonly used to store yes/no values: true means “yes, correct”, and false means “no, incorrect”.

    For instance:

    var thisThing = true;
    var thatThing = false;
  • We’ll cover booleans more deeply in the unit on Logical operators.

    It helps to remember booleans as a switch: they can only be on or off (true or false)
5 mins
  • An integer is a type of number that does not have a decimal point.

  • A whole number, including negative numbers.

    var x = 10;
    var y = -36;
  • There are many operations we can do with numbers, such as multiplication *, division /, addition +, subtraction -, and so on.
    var score = 42 + 500;
5 mins
Numbers with Decimals
  • A float (or floating point number) is a type of number that has a decimal point.
    var distance = 4.5;
    var hours = 1.125;
  • To remember Floats vs Integers, I think of them floating on their decimal point like a life-preserver.
5 mins
Letters and Symbols
  • A string is any number of words, letters and symbols surrounded by quotes:
    var question = "What day is it?";
    var answer = "Monday";
  • Strings can use either 'single quotes' or "double quotes"
    var answer1 = "Abolsutely";    
    var answer2 = 'Not sure';     
    var answer3 = "It's alright";  

    It helps to think of them as a bunch of letters, connected on a string:
5 mins
  • Often we need to store a list of things.
  • An array is a special variable, which can hold more than one value at a time.
    var cars = ["Volvo", "BMW", "Tesla"];
    var fibonacci = [0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13];
  • Spaces and line breaks are not important. A declaration can span multiple lines:
    var fruit = [
  • We’ll cover these more in the unit on Arrays.
More Data
Lots more
  • There's many more types of data.
  • The data types here are often called primitive types.
  • This is because they're the basic building-blocks of more complex data.
  • Other types of data, like objects, are made up of primitive types.
40 mins
Digital Scavenger Hunt
  • Take a moment to consider how the above data types might exist in the world around you.
  • Your goal is to search for images to help visualize these different data types.
    • You may search the web for images.
    • You are also welcome to grab your phone and search the school.
  • The pictures in this unit are examples, please don't copy them :)

  • Open up Google slides and create some slides for this unit.
  • Add one slide called Data:
    • Include a short definition, in your own words.
    • At least one link to a website or video that helps explain this concept.
  • Then, add one slide for each of the following data types:
    • Boolean
    • Integer
    • Float
    • String
    • Array
  • For each slide, add:
    • A short definition, in your own words.
    • An image to help illustrate this concept.
  • Once you have finished, submit the link to your slideshow as evidence of learning in this unit.



There are no records to display.
Powered by Gibbon v27.0.00dev

Founded by Ross Parker at ICHK Secondary | Built by Ross Parker, Sandra Kuipers and the Gibbon community
Copyright © Gibbon Foundation 2010-2024 | Gibbon™ of Gibbon Education Ltd. (Hong Kong)
Created under the GNU GPL | Credits | Translators | Support