I’ve been looking at ways of developing the independence skills of my Year 3/4 class when using Scratch. One of the starter activities I’ve done aims to do this, as well as strengthening the childrens’ logic skills.
The Scratch Match game works like this:
Children sit in groups / tables and each table has a set of cards which are the different sections of code in Scratch.
I then show different code blocks and ask each group to work out which section that block comes from and hold up the correct card, for example if I show “move 10 steps” the group gets the person with “Motion” section to hold up their card.
I then give a short explanation of why the code block is in that section.
One of the tricky ones is “say hello for 2 secs” as children usually think this is in Sound. It’s a good opportunity to draw out that the “say hello” block doesn’t make any sound; instead it displays something on the screen to do with the way a sprite looks.
This activity is also a good way of introducing code blocks which will be particularly useful in a lesson. I usually leave the code block we are looking at particularly until the end of the game, e.g. “Make a variable” if we’re exploring what a variable is.
Ways of extending this game
1) Children very quickly realise that the blocks match in colour to the section, i.e. all motion blocks are blue. Once they have made this connection (usually after the first time!) I then change the blocks I show from the front of the class in black-and-white to make it more challenging.
2) After we’ve used this as a starter three or four times, I then ask a child to give the explanation of why a block is in a particular section.
I’m still trying to work out a good explanation of why “When I start as a clone” is in Control, not Events!