Lesson 0 Getting Started

Scratch interface

Lesson Materials

Journal paper preferred, pencil,

Welcome to Creative Computing with Scratch! The Scratch programming language uses creativity, personalization, sharing, and collaboration to help learners understand the basics of computing in an interactive, learner-centered format. In this lesson, you will learn the Scratch way as you create your first animated program.

Pre-Course Survey

What is Programming?

What is a computer program? It is a set of commands in a language that a computer understands. Some languages can be very complicated with their commands and the syntax that goes with them. For example just to say hello in Java which is supposed to be a straightforward language to learn, use System.out.print (“Hello”). This command would print hello to the screen if you also set up all the commands around it to create the interface for your computer. All of this complicated stuff, you can learn in a full programming course. We are using Scratch; a program developed at MIT to let learners of all ages explore and understand the concepts of programming without getting lost in the details.

Introducing Scratch:

With Scratch, you can program your own interactive stories, games, and animations — and share your creations with others in the online community. Scratch helps young people learn to think creatively, reason systematically, and work collaboratively — essential skills for life in the 21st century.

Watch the overview video.

 

Join Scratch buttonActivity 1: Scratch Account

In Activity 1, you will set up your free Scratch account. All you need is a current email address that you can access. You will need a Scratch account to create, save, and share your Scratch projects. Click on Activity 1 and follow the steps.

Link to Activity 1

Design Journal

How we think with our minds wide openFor a design journal, you will use a notebook. I recommend you put your Scratch username and password on one of the pages. The journal is for brainstorming ideas, drawing pictures of character choices, taking notes, and personal reflections.

Reflection prompt:

  1. How would you describe Scratch to a friend?
  2. Write or sketch ideas for three different Scratch projects you are interested in creating.

 Activity 2: Scratch Surprise

Now, for some fun take 10 minutes to explore the Scratch interface fearlessly. What do you notice? Work with your classmates, you can add and answer questions in the comment section.

Link to Activity 2

Activity 2 lets you do some programming to make the Scratch cat do something surprising.

Reflection prompt

  • What did you figure out?
  • What do you want to know more about?

see examples in a scratch studioActivity 3: Scratch Studio

Scratch studios are one way to collect and organize Scratch projects online. In this activity, you will learn what studios are and how to add a project to a studio. Investigate other projects and see what is possible, you can add comments or ask questions on the project page.

Link to Activity 3

Conclusion

In this lesson, you set up you Scratch account, learned a bit about the interface and programming by creating your first animation using the Scratch mascot and added your first project to the class studio. In the next lesson you will learn about sequencing, the steps required to produce a product.

 


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