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A free, online, block-based programming language called Scratch was developed by MIT to help young people get started with coding. With this platform, users can easily create a variety of digital content – interactive stories, games, animations, and more.
See the fact file below for more information on the Explore Coding Through Scratch or alternatively, you can download our 28-page Explore Coding Through Scratch worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
What is Scratch and Block-Based Programming?
- Scratch MIT is one of the programming environments that popularized the block-based approach.
- Programming, in simple words, is the skill of writing instructions for computers to follow.
- Block-based programming is highly visual. Instead of typing text inputs, Scratch users drag and drop coding blocks to the script area and snap them together to form scripts.
- These visual blocks represent the user’s instructions to his or her computer, making it do what it needs to do.
- The blocks, which are categorized and color-coded, are easy to access.
- Users can find these commands at the right-hand side of the screen.
- Since the blocks fit like jigsaw puzzles, users are provided with visual cues that aid them in connecting the right blocks together.
- Using a block-based approach helps demystify the logic used in computer programming.
- This type of approach enables the users to focus on learning the most frequently used programming concepts without getting overwhelmed with jargon.
- Scratch allows users to focus on creating with code. They can see and enjoy their output right away.
Getting Started with Scratch
- Create a Scratch Account
- Open your web browser and visit www.scratch.mit.edu.
- Click “Join Scratch” at the top right-hand of the screen.
- Enter a username. Avoid using your real name to protect your privacy.
Make up a password and enter it twice. Make sure that it is secure. A good tip is to use a combination of numbers, symbols, and upper and lower case letters.
- Select the country you live in and click “Next.”
- Enter the month and year you were born and click “Next.”
- Enter your gender and click “Next.”
- Enter your email and click “Create Your Account.”
Learning the Scratch User Interface
- Go to Scratch homepage and click “CREATE” at the top left of the screen.
- The screen consists of 7 main parts:
- Stage Info
- Script Area
- Blocks Palette
- Sprite Info
- Stage – This area shows your sprites (characters) in action once you are done creating your scripts.
- Stage Info – This is where you can find information about the stage and view the background image you are currently using or change it to a new one.
- Sprite Info – This is where you can find information about your sprites. It shows the sprite’s name, size, direction, and location on stage. You can also add and delete sprites.
- Script Area – You can drag and drop blocks to this area and assemble them to make your scripts (set of instructions that a sprite should follow).
- Toolbar – This holds the different controls in your project. You can load previous projects, save new ones, undo the deletion of sprites, and find tutorials for different projects.
- Blocks Palette – It holds all the blocks that can be used to program your sprites. These are color-coded and categorized.
- Tabs – These allow you to switch from the blocks palette to the costume pane (where you can edit your sprites’ costume) or the sound pane (choose and edit sound).
Learning the Blocks
- There are seven categories in the blocks palette – motion, looks, sound, events, control, sensing, operators, variables, and my blocks.
- Motion – These blocks control your sprites movement.
- Looks – These blocks change the look of your sprites and background.
- Sound – These blocks control the sounds in your project.
- Events – These blocks signal the start of a script. They tell the sprite when it needs to do what it is instructed to in the script.
- Control – These blocks help control the scripts that are executed.
- Sensing – These blocks help detect different elements in your project, for example if your sprite is touching a center color or object.
- Operators – These blocks add calculations or equations to your project.
- Variables – These blocks hold values in your project. For example, game scores, timer, etc.
- My Blocks – These are custom blocks that hold operations for a particular sprite. For example you want to create a “jump” animation block for a sprite. You can customize a jump block by forming a script that makes your sprite jump. You can store this procedure in the MY BLOCKS section and use it again.
Making Your First Project
- Choose a backdrop for your first project. Go to the Stage Info and hover your mouse pointer over the button. It will show four options: Choose, Paint, Surprise, and Upload. Select “Choose” and it will lead you to the backdrop catalog. Choose one by clicking.
- Choose a sprite. Our default sprite is Scratch Cat. If you want to change the sprite, go to Sprite Info and click the trash button above Scratch Cat. Next, hover your mouse pointer over the button. It will show you four options: Choose, Paint, Surprise, and Upload. Select “choose” and it will lead you to the sprite catalog. Click the sprite of your choice.
- Program your sprite. Let’s create a greeting script for your sprite. Start by choosing an event block. Drag the ”When Green Flag is Clicked” block and drop it in the script area. Let’s get a block that will make your sprite say something. Drag and drop the purple ”Say” block to the script area.
- Run your program. Click the green flag button located above the stage. The scene should look similar to the image at the right.
- Your sprite should say ”Hello!” like it is greeting someone!
- Save your program. Make sure you are signed in to save your project. Name your project by typing inside the box. After naming your project, go to the toolbar and select “File.” Click “Save Now” to save your project in your account.
- Share your program. Scratch allows you to share your work to their online community. If you want others to view your project, click the “Share” button beside the project title.
Using The Worksheets
- Using the worksheets requires logging into your Scratch account.
- These worksheets will serve as your guide in exploring Scratch and learning to program using this tool.
Explore Coding Through Scratch Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about the Explore Coding Through Scratch across 28 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Explore Coding Through Scratch worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about a free, online, block-based programming language called Scratch which was developed by MIT to help young people get started with coding. With this platform, users can easily create a variety of digital content – interactive stories, games, animations, and more.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Scratch User Interface
- Scratch Coding Blocks
- What’s The Block?
- Let’s Try Scripting
- Animate It!
- Loops on Loops
- Parallel Events
- Conditional Statements
- Hello, Operators?
- Making Variables
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Link will appear as Explore Coding Through Scratch Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, May 15, 2020
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.