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Scratch and Scratch Jr

Scratch and Scratch Jr is a great way to introduce your students to coding. Scratch is basically an online community and its aim is to educate and introduce kids to coding. Students can easily create different activities and convert them into programs using scratch. These programs can also be shared with each other.

The purpose of scratch Jr is also similar to scratch but it is designed specifically for children of age 5-7. It sparks creativity in kids and at the same time, they also develop an interest in coding. Kids can program different types of games, stories, and activities. In this way, they learn problem-solving skills and how to express themselves creatively.     

Here is how scratch works:

  1. Type scratch.mit.edu in the address bar of your browser and press enter.
  2. After you press enter, the homepage of scratch will appear. Here your students can create interactive games, stories, animations and so on.
  3. Create an account and sign in.
  4. After you sign in, you will see a lot of different types of projects created by the scratch team and people around the world.
  5. You can also go to the help page of scratch to see some of the projects for beginners.
  6. Click on any project that you want.
  7. Click “see inside” button to see how that specific project is made.
  8. You can also edit, make adjustments and experiment with new things in that project after you click “see inside”.
  9. If you are ready to create your own, click start creating. 
  10. Use the tutorials any time you get stuck. 

Here is how Scratch Jr works:

  1. Open the Scratch Jr. App
  2. Click on the home button to get started.
  3. A page with the character of a cat will appear. Your students can edit this page as they want. They can add more characters, remove or replace the “cat” character and so on. They can also make animations.
  4. Use the top tool bar to add items to the scene.
  5. Use the bottom tool bar to add action to the characters and objects.
  6. Engage your students in different interesting projects.

Using Scratch and Scratch Jr with elementary students is a great way to get them started with coding. There are so many fun activity ideas that you can do in your classroom. Here are some of those ideas:

Retelling a familiar story

This is a great way to spark creativity in your little students. Ask them to think about a familiar story such as three little pigs. Once they pick a familiar story, ask them to recreate it in the Scratch or Scratch Jr. However, the ending of the story should be different than its actual end.

The life cycle of a made-up animal

Another great way to grab the interest of your students and to engage them in a creative activity is the life cycle of a made up animal. Ask them to think about a made-up animal such as catermoney (half caterpillar and half monkey). After that, ask them to create an animation of the life cycle of this made-up animal. It is up to their imagination how they want to present the life cycle of their made-up animal.

Click here for a presentation you can use with your staff. It is completely editable so feel free to make any changes you need.