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Scratch: Imagine, Program, Share
Scratch was developed by the Media Lab at MIT as a free, simple-to-learn but potentially powerful programming software. By moving blocks of coded directions, students build scripts that tell sprites how to act, creating games, animations and graphics projects. Scratch is supported by a web site for sharing projects and a forum for sharing ideas and getting support. With the purchase of a
($50), students can also design their own user interfacahfhvduhfvufhvfuhvfuvhfbuhdgpdshbutihtdsiubhdpihtdguirhgr[soidhgre[ighreg[h8e, so that the computer takes input from the device they create.
Specific Program Links
This is the source for the free download of Scratch, plus a great site for students to share their projects and check out projects from others. There are extensive support materials on the site, including "Scratch Cards" that show blocks of code used frequently for keeping score, animating, and other common Scratch actions.
Launched in July, 2009, this site supports educators in their use of Scratch. It includes tabs for Scratch stories, resources, discussions, and a clickable map for finding user/members.
Uses of Scratch in Education
Activities and skills:
What Scratch Does for Students
Our students' world is rich with technology. Schools must teach students to be shapers, not just users, of technology. Scratch starts at a level where children feel instantly successful as programmers, then they can keep learning and applying increasingly complex skills. The thinking required mirrors what any adult programmer deals with, and the students intuitively recognize it. They set design goals for their projects, they deal with logic and have to problem-solve to fix program bugs. They collaborate, cooperate, co-teach. There is a buzz in the room when the kids get going on Scratch projects, a special intensity of ownership. They appreciate the power that Scratch gives them to create their own versions of games and animations.
The MIT Scratch research group leader, Mitchel Resnick, writes that what Scratch does for students goes beyond the context of technology. He describes a "creative thinking spiral" that Scratch is designed to support.
"In this process, people imagine what they want to do, create a project based on their ideas, play with their creations, share their ideas and creations with others, and reflect on their experiences—all of which leads them to imagine new ideas and new projects."
"In today’s rapidly changing world, people must continually come up with creative solutions to unexpected problems. Success is based not only on what you know or how much you know, but on your ability to think and act creatively."
Here is the full article,
, from which these quotes are taken.
Lesson Plans, Outlines, Rubrics, Other Resources
for examples of resources for the use of this technology in the classroom. Post your student work planners, graphic organizers, lesson or unit outlines... anything which others may find useful in planning their own use of Scratch in education.
A "textbook" on Scratch
Wiki from a Feb. 2009 conference presentation
Includes webcast tutorials
Step by step tutorial on creating games and interactive media using Scratch. Very brief explanation and updated periodically.
A fifth-sixth grade classroom's first experience with podcasting
Easy activity from a second grade class
Link to videos on getting started with Scratch, project:
MIT media lab video
Make Pong in 7 Minutes using Scratch
professional media site's intro to Scratch, features two British schools
Link to Mitchel Resnick's keynote talk at the July 2008 Scratch@MIT conference
Series of video lessons on basic Scratch moves and projects
Screen capture videos on basic Scratch ideas, made by an MIT Scratch team intern
Additional Web Links
Other places with Scratch information, lessons, and ideas
The MIT Scratch Team's educational support page
Deep set of resources, including detailed lesson guides at three levels and tutorials
Site created to support an after school Scratch club
An on-line Scratch "programming handbook" with lesson plans, basic and more advanced, and video tutorials
Scratch lesson plans for 15-16 year olds from Lero - the Irish software engineering research center at
6-lesson scheme of work for UK Scratch course
UK course materials for game projects, including a "how-to" video
U of Wisconsin CaTaPuLt program lesson plans site
U of Wisconsin student's Scratch introduction site
Science Museum of Minnesota Scratch Game Studio
Homeschooler's computer science site explains Scratch in detail
Rated list of sites for learning more about Scratch
University of California, Berkeley graduate student's worksheets to help address common obstacles in Scratch.
Complete tutorial, 17 careful lessons, for making a space shuttle game
"Scratch for budding computer scientists," learning Scratch as an entry to programming
Project ideas (with links to directions) from a Georgia USA elementary school
Using Scratch as an introduction to programing, by making games and animations
Five-day "starting Scratch" lesson sets, primary and intermediate, with commentary for how the plans worked, from Virginia after school program
Scratch lesson list from "Technology in the Middle" blog, with slide show introducing programming concepts
New Mexico State University Learning Games Lab five day Scratch challenge
A moodle list of Scratch activities
A high school computer teacher's Scratch page, with a talk and sample lessons
IT teacher's site
and Moodle course gathering links to several common Scratch resources in one place
Ten lessons for classroom use of Scratch, providing project challenges and directions for working them, going beyond intro level
Seven progressively more difficult projects, with video directions for making them
Scratch "worksheet" challenges, with suggested blocks and open-ended solutions
An educator's guide to Scratch Programming:
A wonderful resource with easy-to-follow Scratch activities:
Intro to Scratch
, August 2008
These links are scholarly articles, and require purchase/membership to download.
Programming by choice: urban youth learning programming with scratch
'scratch' your way to introductory cs
Empowering kids to create and share programmable media
A book is out with Scratch activities:
Jerry Lee Ford,
Scratch Programming for Teens
These links feature examples of rubrics and self evaluations created for Scratch Projects.
PDF files for rubrics and self evaluations are in the "Lesson Plans..." section
Curriculum Integration Ideas from the Scratch@MIT conference, summer 2008
for links regarding ideas for using Scratch in the classroom.
for planning work on an international Scratch Club.
Scratch in Computer Science
Active Discussion Page
to leave a comment about Scratch.
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