Sunday, December 09, 2018

indigenous icons activity

I've uploaded some indigenous icons (mainly gifs) with transparent backgrounds, suitable for incorporation into a Scratch activity.

I prepared these icons from the original sheet using GIMP.

The activity which I set my class, which is roughly 50% indigenous, was to make up a story based on these icons. Initially I gave them a printout of the icon sheet and asked them to do the story with pencil and paper. I found that all the students preferred to draw the icons themselves rather than cutting and pasting, which is an option I provided.

The next day we went into a computer room. I had taken one of the student sheets and had begun to duplicate their icons into a Scratch page. I made the icons available in the common drive and told them to put the folder onto their Desktop, since Scratch offer an import from desktop feature.

I added a few extra icons to the folder (of kangaroo, emu and honey ants) based on reading their stories.

I asked the students to put the relevant icons onto the page, to name them (that makes it much easier to follow what you are doing) and then program an icon click that would display the name for 2 seconds. I also suggested they put a pale coloured background on the Stage. For some of the icons that were hard to click because of their transparent spaces I suggested they edit and add an unobtrusive colour.

I showed them more work I had done on my exemplar by adding an introductory page with the words of the story. This page had a button which when clicked hid the page and revealed the icons underneath. I showed the class how to hide the page when the button was clicked and how to show the page when the green flag was clicked to start the program again.

The class hadn't done much Scratch before and there were some teething problems. The main one was that some students didn't realise that they had to make a new sprite before importing each icon. They were putting multiple icons onto each sprite. This was easily fixed with some extra instruction.

I felt the indigenous students engaged strongly with this activity, just by getting on with it without any fuss.

One student on his own initiative added the waterdrop sound to the button when it was clicked.

This was a last week of school activity. If I had more time I would have shown the class how to animate one of the animals relevant to their story.

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