Next Saturday 19th May is Scratch Day. For those who aren’t familiar with it, Scratch is a programming language that lets you create animations, stories, simulations, games and more. I’ve used it successfully in my own ICT lessons and the children really enjoyed the challenge of creating their own characters and controlling them with the simple action blocks.
Although Scratch Day is on a Saturday, I thought that it might be useful to list some classroom resources that can be used in lessons before / after the day itself and, of course, at other times of the year too. I hope that this is useful if you want to use this great software for the first time… or if you’re looking to extend what you can already do with Scratch.
1) If your pupils haven’t used Scratch before, shown them this introduction video which explains what the program can do.
2) The official Scratch site shares over 2.5 million Scratch projects that you can try for yourself. You can also see how the projects were created and use these to build your own (or adapt the ones already there). There is also an official Scratch Day site which includes resources and discussions forums. These Scratch cards are a great way to introduce the different code that is available within the software.
3) ScratchEd is a special online community for teachers who use Scratch in their classrooms. There are also lots of resources and discussion areas where you can share tips and advice about using Scratch in your own lessons.
4) Miles Berry has created lots of great tutorials for Scratch. Teachers can use these to get ideas for activities. Could you also challenge pupils to follow the tutorial videos to make their own projects? Here are some of his videos:
Make an animated underwater scene:
Create a snowscene:
Link scenes with Scratch:
6) Learn Scratch is a comprehensive site offering free lesson plans and video tutorials that cover lots of different features of the program.
7) Scratch also connects to the Lego WeDo robotics kits that are available. Scratch provide free resources to help you link to the two together and Simon Haughton has also written a useful guide on his blog.
8 ) redware provide a number of lesson plans and video tutorials which teach people how to make a number of different Scratch projects.
9) Scratch Resources lets you download an enormous collection of sprites, buttons, backgrounds, sounds and scripts that you can then use in your Scratch projects. You can also upload your own resources and share them with the wider community.
10) The next version of Scratch (v2.0) is being released soon, so you could share the following video with students. Which features are they most interested in trying?
Have you used Scratch in the classroom?