Pico Makes a Friend
I am taking an online class in Scratch and having way too much fun. Programming should be a serious and tedious business, right? Not so with the Scratch programming language. Instead I find it a creative and whimsical exercise in logical thinking. I just finished an assignment called Pass It On in which one person writes a Scratch script and posts it to the Pass It On Scratch studio. Others remix the script and repost it. So far four of us, from four different locations, have collaborated to produce this iteration of “Pico Makes a Friend
You’ll need Scratch installed on your computer to run this. But don’t worry, it’s a free download and once you have it, you may not be able to tear yourself away from it. (Version 2.0 is web-based and requires no download and offeres some pretty nifty new features.)
Anyway, I just discovered a YouTube playlist chock full of videos to help you understand the many mysteries and fine points of programming in Scratch. Fire up your computer and go to http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL9ngVLPWKfDmKcvbZUVePC1sN3C6OTZ5_ and get ready for the fun to begin.
This is the first lesson I give to classes learning Scratch. After giving a tour of the Scratch interface, I ask them to start building this script with me. In doing so, they get a quick demonstration of creating new costumes, the importance of positive and negative variables, the existence of the x/y grid, and timing. After building the first part of the script, I ask them to complete it by making the cat turn in the opposite direction and “walk” back across the stage.
Copy this script.
How can you make the Sprite turn around and walk back across the screen? Write your thoughts about this below. Then try to accomplish the task. Write about your results, even if you were not successful. We learn from trying. Each version of the task is called an iteration.
Experiment with the blocks below.
Write what you learned about making Sprite move.
Write what you learned about changing the way a Sprite looks.
This is a collection of Scratch resources. I have them posted on our Scratch wiki so that the students can access them. This works especially well for our Scratch Club because the students are at all different levels of competency in using Scratch. They learn from me, I learn from them, they learn from each other, and they learn from the available resources. I have not required them to join the online Scratch community. Instead they are sharing on the wiki.
Shall We Learn Scratch
Downloadable Scratch Instruction Book
Learn Scratch .org
Scratch lessons from Nebo
Scratch Lesson Plans
Scratch for Budding Scientists:
How to Make a Simple Scratch Video Game
How to Make a Simple Pac Man Game
Bees and Bananas Script