Saturday, July 19, 2008

scratch resources

This page (teaching children computer programming by using scratch) on contains a number of links to good Scratch resources, the best of which I'll summarise below

1) Programming concepts and skills supported in scratch (pdf) (doc)
What problem solving, project design skills, fundamental ideas about computers and programming, and specific programming concepts does Scratch support (and for the latter does not support)? This is an excellent summary, highly recommended, you need to download for the examples (code snippets) provided too, which are really good. Also note this discussion thread on the Scratch forum about this document, especially the comments by kevin karplus and responses by natalie, the document author, to his suggestions

Scratch supports these Specific Programming Concepts:
sequence, iteration (looping), conditional statements, variables, threads (parallel execution), synchronisation, real-time interaction, boolean logic, random numbers, event handling, user interface design

Scratch does not currently support data structures (arrays, etc.), procedures and functions, recursion, inheritance, defining classes of objects, exception handling, parameter passing and return values, text input, file input/output

2) Scratch Programming Projects
Ten excellent projects described in just the right amount of detail, with requirements and extras:
  1. "Chasing/Eating" (Pac Man Type Game)
  2. Red Light/Green Light
  3. Pong
  4. Target Game
  5. Communication Project
  6. Animation of a short story
  7. Virtual Musical Instrument
  8. Virtual Board Game
  9. Basic Space Target Game
  10. Shape Drawing Robot (Polygon Robot)
3) Shark eats fish
Introductory tutorial, clearly explained with screenshots

4) Comparison of different languages (thread in Scratch forum)
This comment by pkimelma presents a well thought out sequence for teaching Scratch using a games theme.

Other comments in this thread compare Scratch with Phrogram (which has 3D graphics), Alice, Starlogo and others.

5) Kevin and Abe Karplus Scratch page looks to have a nice collection of scratch exemplars


Anonymous said...

Hi Bill,
Thanks for writing a page about the top scratch resources on You have put an excellent summary here! I wrote about you here.

In number 4, how do you link to a specific comment? I tried clicking on the comment number, but it didn't work.

Bill Kerr said...

> how do you link to a specific comment? (on the scratch forum)

try the date-time link, it has a blue background so initially doesn't look like a link

thanks for linking to my post on kidslike

Anonymous said...

Hi Bill,
Thanks for explaining.

We have a lot of visitors from Australia and New Zealand, probably thanks to you!

We have a new page on the scratch programming assignment at Harvard

Happy to give credit where it's due.
Could you possibly log in and write a comment about who you are? Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Bill for linking to the redware fish! game. We have some new videos now to help 8-12 year olds learn scratch.

Best wishes