ScratchJr is an introductory programming language that enables young students to create their own interactive stories and games. Students snap together graphical programming blocks to make characters move, jump, dance, and sing. Students can modify characters in the paint editor, add their own voices and sounds, even insert photos of themselves -- then use the programming blocks to make their characters come to life. ScratchJr is available as a free app for both iPad and Android tablets.
• A series of guides to the ScratchJr interface that can be downloaded and used as reminders for the students or as part of a classroom display.
o Interface Guide – a guide to the buttons on the ScratchJr interface
o Paint Editor Guide – a guide to the buttons when in paint editor mode
o Block Descriptions – a guide to what each block does and their parameters
• A series of activities to introduce ScratchJr and to learn how to use it to create interactive games and stories. The complexity of the activities and concepts gets progressively more difficult:
1. Drive Across the City. Students pick a background and a character, and use a motion block to make a car drive across the city.
2. Run a Race. Students use the speed block to speed up or slow down a character.
3. Sunset. Students learn how to make a character disappear.
4. Moonrise after sunset. Students learn how to add a new page to change scene.
5. Spooky forest. Students make multiple characters with their own scripts.
6. Dribble a basketball. Students learn how to use the repeat block to dribble a basketball.
7. Dance party. Students use sound and motion blocks and a start again block to make characters dance.
8. Meet and Greet. Students use the envelope to send a message from one character to another.
9. Conversation. Students send multiple messages among characters using different coloured envelopes.
• A very useful set of all the ScratchJr command blocks that can be printed off and used with the students as an unplugged activity to ensure that they understand what each block does. They could also be used as part of a classroom display.
• 3 suggested cross curricula projects that use ScratchJr:
• animated genres
o This series of 8 lessons and 3 projects which provide the students with the opportunity to learn all the concepts in ScratchJr and apply these concepts in their own personal creations.
• re-creating playground games
o This is a series of 8 lessons in which students learn how to use ScratchJr as they re-create familiar playground games.
• reinforcing literacy and mathematical concepts
o These curricular modules describe ScratchJr projects that reinforce literacy and mathematic principles of uppercase and lowercase letters and cardinality of number.
2 simple summative assessment ideas that could be used to help determine the depth of students' understanding of the relationship between the programming blocks and their associated behaviours.
o Circle the blocks
• In this basic assessment, students identify which programming blocks were used in each ScratchJr project, but the students do not sequence the blocks.
o Reverse Engineer Blocks
• In this more in-depth assessment, students view a ScratchJr project and then reconstruct the scripts of the project using pre-printed blocks