ICT / Computing

Published on January 13th, 2015 | by What2Learn

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Introduction to Scratch

Scratch is described by its creators, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, as ‘a free programming language and online community where you can create your own interactive stories, games and animations’. A truly fantastic tool, the latest version of it is designed to be used entirely online so work that pupils undertake in lessons can easily be carried on at home.

Some argue that Scratch is not a true programming language but the new National Curriculum states ‘that pupils should be taught to use two or more programming languages, at least one of which should be textual’. By implication this means that students can learn one non-textual programming language and Scratch, with its easy to use graphical interface, fits the bill perfectly.

You can access the latest version of Scratch online for free at //scratch.mit.edu/.

Tutorials abound on the internet for using Scratch to create an incredibly varied range of products. As an introduction though it would be sensible to use the initial in-built tutorials.

scratch

Suggested delivery

Length of unit: 3 lessons

Lesson One: Step-by-step intro

  • Start moving
  • Adding sound
  • Start a dance
  • Again and again (repeat loops)
  • Say something
  • Pupils to be guided through the following topics in the ‘step-by-step intro’ tutorial:

Lesson Two: Step-by-step intro (cont)

  • Changing colours
  • Key presses
  • Adding backdrops
  • Adding sprites
  • Explore!
  • Pupils to be guided through the following topics in the ‘step-by-step intro’ tutorial:

Lesson Three: Interactive holiday card.

  • Pupils to work through the ‘Hour of Code Scratch Tutorial’ to create an interactive holiday card to share with friends and family. This builds upon the step-by-step intro tutorial and enables pupils to reinforce and develop their understanding.

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