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Scratch Curriculum Guide Draft

A design-based introduction to computational thinking with Scratch

This Scratch curriculum guide provides an introduction to creative computing with Scratch, using a design-based learning approach.

The guide is organized as a series of twenty 60-minute sessions, and includes session plans, handouts, projects, and videos. The 20 sessions presented in this guide are organized into 5 topics:

  • introduction
  • arts
  • stories
  • games
  • final project

You can download the full, current draft of the curriculum guide below - available in both pdf and doc formats.

The guide was developed to be both subject-neutral and grade-neutral to accommodate different settings for any teacher who wants to support students’ development of computational thinking through explorations with Scratch. The content for the guide is based on four years of Scratch educator workshops, particularly the Google-funded 2009-2011 Creative Computing workshops and more recently, NSF-funded ScratchEd workshops and meetups.

We are currently conducting a pilot of the curriculum guide with 11 educators. But we hope that a wide range of educators will try out the curriculum guide and provide us with feedback.

Now that the guide is launched, we'd love to hear your thoughts on it! Please share any feedback you have about the guide by posting comments in the Curriculum Guide Draft discussion space. We'd love to hear any reactions on what works, what doesn't work, and what it looks like in your classroom.

Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions.

Comments
Member
I'm using some of the curriculum to teach 5th graders how to use Scratch and it's going really well. I have some questions about Session #6 where the students act out scripts, either by programming the volunteers through the Scratch interface or by using a physical version of the Scratch blocks. Are sample scripts provided or do teachers/students write the scripts? Do you know where I can find or an easy way to print Scratch blocks? I love that your curriculum combines both screen time and non-screen physical activities. Thanks!
Member

I'm working on a Traditional Chinese translation (Taiwanese Mandarin) with a freelance translator, Xinmay Lin. We'll be done in early August. For now, here are the worksheets: scratched.media.mit.edu/resources/scratch-draft-curriculum-traditional-chinese-translation

Member

The full translation is now available at the above link!

Member
Administrator

Do you use design notebooks with your students? Help us improve this activity by filling out this short survey.

Member

 It is very usefull for me. I tried to prepare a Learning Protocol and some parts of this draft is good to use.Tnx

Member

Gracias por la oportunidadSaludo cordial a toda la comunidad, gracias por la oportunidad de ingresar y compartir conocimientos.

Administrator

For those interested in attaining a bound copy of the curriculum guide, we've recently designed a Scratch Starter Kit, which include the guide, Scratch Cards, and other Scratch resources to help you get started using Scratch with your students. We are pleased to offer a limited quantity of starter kits for sale at cost. Check out our Eventbrite page to find out how to purchase a kit or how you can create your own Scratch Starter Kit. - http://scratchstarterkit.eventbrite.com

We are also hosting a raffle for a chance to win a free Scratch Starter Kit. Update your ScratchEd profile settings by April 30, 2012 to automatically be entered into the drawing to win! - http://scratched.media.mit.edu/stories/new-features-scratched-website-relaunch

 

Member

 What are Scratch Installers?

Member

An installer is the file you download to install Scratch on your computer.

Member

 ohhhhhhh thanks!

Member

 Thank you for putting this together. Our school is about to embark on an after school program in Scratch.  I had some ideas based on the way I learned, but your way is so much better than the old way (and a lot more fun) Thanks again and keep up the good work!

Member

Thanks Patrick! Please let us know how it goes. You can share feedback here or in the curriculum guide discussion forum - http://scratched.media.mit.edu/discussions/curriculum-guide-draft/scratch-curriculum-guide-draft-feedback

Member

Good Morning One and all.

I am new to this and teach in a Seconday School with a wide range of abilities.  Does anyone have resources for students of low ability?

 

Thanks

Member

I think the responses here are very appropriate. In my classes, it is important for me to recognize each student's achievement. Many of my lower students finished the Art sessions with only their drawing. My response to them, when they were reluctant to upload, was that each one of us learn to program at different levels and speeds - that they had started not knowing anything about creating a sprite and ended up with one that was complete.

 

Another option is to involve the advanced students as tutors, you will often find they will do a better job of explaining concepts to slower students, (yes, even if you have a class of pretty low students, some will grasp programming much quicker than others).

Member

 I just ran through most of the curriculum prepared by the Scratch team -- to the maze project -- with our weakest kids.  I don't have much to offer but encouragement since I just used their materials as-is, but I can say it went pretty well.  The kids liked it a lot.  I'm not sure I can say exactly what they learned; but I will use the materials again, perhaps with more specific expectations of what I expect the kids to to do.  (I wouldn't think that would be an issue with average or strong students; the weak ones tended to wander off into directions that weren't very useful.  I remember a fair amount of time spent trying to patch music from youtube into project after project -- that sort of thing.)

 

Member

 I've been using the Scratch curriculum with a heterogenous population in high school. They are all high achievers in school but some are more artists and designers and some are more programmers.

The really important thing that they are learning is that each person has different parts that seem to come easy and that they can help each other. Recently one boy who loves drawing was feeling that his projects were of a much lower quality than others in class. For the dance party, they were encouraged to create their own sprites for the first time so we did some scanning of drawings and imported the images into Scratch. He wanted to make his character move in a certain way and struggled with code, not to make a greater assignment but to make his character move the way he wanted. 

We have mandatory sharing regularly and everyone is now used to troubleshooting together. The class enjoyed his character and all helped him fix his code. When I was talking to him about the one thing he had learned in this project and expected to hear him talk about importing his drawing, he was only interested in talking about how this was the first time he was writing the scripts and was having so much fun with it!

This is the kind of learning that I think will really overflow into other classwork and is exciting. I'm sure that can happen in your class too.

Member

Hi,

I am doing sessions 3-5 this week, but I am not able to play the Vimeo videos at school, (however, I can play You Tube - was just unblocked).

Are these videos available for download?

Thanks, Carl

Member

Take a look at http://keepvid.com/. I have used it in the past for capturing youtube videos to play offline.

Member

Hi Carl,

You can download the videos from vimeo, and they're also posted to YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/user/ScratchEdTeam

 

Member

Thanks!

May I suggest that a simple introduction to drawing Scratch sprites be included somewhere in the Arts section? I am putting this as a pre-Session #4 activity.

Example

Member

Off to do more work!

Member

Hi,

I am working on creating a blended instruction unit in Blackboard, but I have a question, should session nine be with story creation sessions or as the beginning of the games sessions?

Carl

Member

Hi Carl,

I had imagined it as the start of the games sessions.

Thanks!

Member

That is where I was going to put it, but I feel better about it with your confirmation.

 

Thanks,

Carl

Member

 Interestingly, we have this document translated into Portuguese.

Administrator

Thanks everyone for all of the feedback you've shared so far! We've created a new discussion topic in the forums called Scratch Curriculum Guide Draft Feedback as a central space for people to post and read feedback about the guide. Please continue to add any comments, questions and suggestions you have for the guide there. - http://scratched.media.mit.edu/node/10945

m m
Member

I am excited to introduce scratch to students. I am the educational technologist at my school and I am working with a couple of classes to introduce the lessons in the curriculum guide. Any pointers or tips would be appreciated. I am also using my own sons as guinea pigs to learn from. Thanks for the amazing software and I hope that I get to attend a scratch day this year if one is close enough to where I live.

Member

Hi Karen and everyone,

As a Spanish speaking educator, I think would be very valuable to have this guide in Spanish so.....I'm here throwing the first stone....

I have started translating the guide into Spanish and reached page 20.

I put my effort to get ready the first part of the document to set the status of common words along the whole document. My vision at the time I started the translation was to get the commitment of other educators from the Spanish speaking community interested in Scratch to collaborate in translating the remaining 18 sessions.

Here I'm posting the link to download the document in DOC format for others to complete it.

My simple idea is for whom would be interested in collaborating, just reply to the message I left on the Spanish forum (see the "Discussions" tab) saying somthing like: "My commitment is to translate sessions 3 and 4" so we all know who will do what and we won't overlapp.

As long as we get the translations ready we can upload them to GoogleDocs, Dropbox o whatever place in the cloud and posting the links on the Spanish forum.

Hope this helps to get the guide in Spanish very soon.

Here's the link:

http://tinyurl.com/guia-curr-scratch-es

Kind regards and thanks Karen for this wonderful resource.

All the best,

 

Cristián

P.S: I posted the same message but in the Spanish forum (off course in Spanish language, haha)

Member

Thank you!  

I lead a Computer Science club at our middle school - ....  the students are 6th-8th grade.  We started with 17 students and today (our 4th meeting) I expect 30!  We meet for an 1.5 hour one day a week.

 

Here is a quick review:

Session 1:  Good intro, we were able to work out any permission issues, etc.   Fun intro to Scratch.  I used the intro video and all the students were so excited.  I think it is unusual for students to be encouraged to be "fearless" about their learning.   Thanks for encouraging kids to be creative.  At the end,  I asked each student to write a short reason why they wanted to be in the CS club.   ALL of them (except 2 who wanted “free time”) said they wanted to write games, be a programmer, write for the iPad, .....  I was so excited by this!

Session 2:   

Because the students seemed to really want to be programmers, I decided to add more programming specific components.  We talked about MIT and why they developed this software.  We talked about how universities used Scratch.  I showed them that Harvard has their CS50 class that uses Scratch for the first program.   We even learned about binary numbers just like the cs50 class.    We started the About Me.

Session 3:

Another engaging session.  We were lucky enough to have a visitor who brought in hardware and talked about how memory is physically stored.  He actually took apart old drives and passed them around the room.

We introduced and created pseudocode.  I liked that we had the dance videos.  The students loved this and I thought it was great for team bonding.  We all had great laughs and learned how difficult it is to be precise.  I was also able to spend some one-on-one time with students and their projects.

Session 4: is today!!!

It is so thrilling to be around these kids.  They make it fun

I have so many little things to share …  thanks Scratch team!!

 

 

 

Member

 Karen,

This guide looks fantastic!  Is it possible for me to get a downloaded version of the Intro to Scratch Video?  I want to show it in a school where Vimeo is blocked...  We've shown it in a couple classes at other schools, and the students just light up with ideas and inspiration :)

Thanks!

Lindsay

Member

Hi Lindsay,

Yep! You can download the video at http://vimeo.com/29457909

Please let me know if you have any questions about accessing the video...

Thanks,
K

 

Member

 Thanks Karen!  I finally realized I had to sign up for an account on Vimeo in order to download the file.  Got it downloaded now :)

Member

I'm trying "Dance Party" now.  Anyone have a nice example or two to show the kids? 

 

(thanks again Susan for the "About Me"s)

Administrator

Hi Perry,

The ScratchEd Team profile on the Scratch website has created several galleries of sample projects that correspond to the curriculum guide sessions, including Dance Party. - http://scratch.mit.edu/users/showgalleries/954277

Good luck and let us know how it goes! :)

Member

Thanks!  You guys are great!

Member

Hi,

 

I'm using it with my students (age 12-13) , here in Spain. I translated it into Catalan, and so far activities are working well.

 

I will give a more accurate feedback at the end of the term.

 

Best regards,

 

Alex

Member

 Hi Karen, Michelle,

This is really great work! But, I have a problem in that you are conflating three different things: a syllabus, lesson plans and learning resources. By placing these three different items in a single document, I believe that you are reducing the flexibility, because it becomes an take-it-or-leave-it proposition. I suggest that you re-organize and expand as follows:

1. A detailed syllabus: learning goals, pedagogical, organizational and technical requirements, a list of topics in a recommend sequence and number of hours, teaching suggestions. This document include an initial "executive summary" that a teacher could show to a principal or school board when proposing to teach Scratch.

2. Lessons plans. By separating out the lesson plans, a teacher will be able modify or replace them depending on the specific educational context of the students such as age level, cultural aspects, technological sophistication.

3. Learning resources. By separating these out, they can be re-used in other contexts or teachers can replace them with more appropriate or new resources.

Again, this is not a criticism of your work, but a recognition of how the "real world" works :-(.

Moti

 

Member

 Passing this along to my colleague, who will be pitching an idea for a research study teaching Scratch to community college students!

Member

Thanks, Joe! :)

Member

Our Middle School Computer Science Club starts on Wednesday ... this will be helpful!!!!  Thanks!

Member

Thanks Susan!

Member

I'm looking around for sample projects to get my students started.  Does anyone know of model "About Me" programs to introduce lesson two?  (I tossed together one, http://scratch.mit.edu/projects/MUHStigers/2060507 , though I'd sure like some others to show the kids.

Member

 http://scratch.mit.edu/galleries/view/138381

 

http://scratch.mit.edu/projects/Thissideup11/37276

http://scratch.mit.edu/projects/Lightnin/641361

http://scratch.mit.edu/projects/silvershine/1955237

http://scratch.mit.edu/projects/RS1298/1666785

http://scratch.mit.edu/projects/Fidessa-Chan/1908301

Member

Thanks for the curriculum. I'll use it in an afterschool club.

And i'll post comments and feedback, of course.

As far as revised version, why don't you think about a collaborative platform for sharing the document ? Google Doc or wiki-based tools, for example.

 

 

Member

This looks great! I've read through it and am looking forward to trying it out in a class.

Member

I am going to use the guide  right away and give you feedback on how it went.

Member

Thank you all for this wonderful tool.

Member

 I love that this guide is so comprehensive. 

Member

The PDF link works fine... This is very promising. Thank you all for putting this together.