Learn Scratch

The Scratch programming language is free, fun and easy to learn.

Most programming languages are text-based so a learner has to gain experience writing the code, but Scratch programming is easier as it uses blocks.

The learner selects blocks, puts them together and runs the program in a simple way making it the most fun and easiest way to learn programming.

INTRODUCTION TO SCRATCH PROGRAMMING

instructions

#1 Shapes

The first lesson shows how to use Scratch.

We use Scratch to learn about the basic programming concepts.

In this lesson we use several blocks as instructions, these instructions put together make a program.

When we run the program the cat will follow the instructions.

#2 game

The second lesson mixes some crucial programming concepts with some Scratch based instructions.

We use the programming concept of a conditional statement often called an ‘if’ statement. Both an operator and a loop are also included.

Most of the instructions involve the motion blocks but the paint editor is also used. The looks block includes the ‘say ___ for 2 seconds’ which acts like a print command in text-based programming.

When we run the program the cat will follow the instructions.

#3 calculator

As you may expect the calculator uses numbers with the operators (+ – * /) and the ‘join’ block.

The numbers are stored in variables which is another important programming concept.

Getting input from a user is not as common in Scratch or in programming but it is used.

#4 xylophone

The fourth lesson we use Scratch to create a xylophone.

The task is not difficult and does not really include and useful concepts in the program blocks.

But the goal of the lesson is to consider how to complete the task – the easiest way.

Using this logic is important when we design programs. Using logic is a vital component in learning how to code.

#5 animation

In this lesson we see the use of event programming. This is when an action occurs as a result of an event happening.

We use Scratch to react when two objects touch.

Another feature we see in Scratch is the use of costumes to change the appearance of the sprite object (e.g. make the cat appear to walk)

#6 lists

This additional lesson introduces lists, often called arrays in programming languages.

We use a loop to iterate through the list – meaning go through each value in a list.

The task requires some programming logic to be completed, either using two loops with an inner loop, or even better an if statement.

#7 maze

By now you should be able to make a program by yourself. n these instructions you have three options:

  • try by yourself
  • follow an outline for the design
  • use detailed instructions

#8 race

In this lesson we reuse the code from the last task. Code reuse is an important feature of programming.

Complete the task by changing the code from task 7 as per the instructions that you can download here.

#9 functions

This additional lesson introduces functions. Functions are one of the most important features of programming.

We often need to make a solution to a problem by breaking that problem down into smaller issues.

We code each part using functions. There are other benefits of using functions such as code reuse and ease of reading the code.

#10 algorithms

The final task id the most difficult using programming techniques to sort numbers into order using a sorting algorithm.

videos

How to Learn Scratch Programming

A series of videos on YouTube will accompany the course. Each video will demonstrate one of the ten tasks that comprise of this free short course that introduces programming.

The first video introducing the course was released on Sunday 16th August 2020.

The introduction shows all the ten tasks and can be found at How to Learn Scratch Programming Language. For the five week period two videos will be released either on Sunday or midweek such as Wednesday evening. These will all be incrementally added to a playlist found at Learn Scratch Programming.

Task #1 shapes

The first video looks at creating a square. follow the instructions (see below) to get an introduction to using Scratch. The task is not difficult but if you are new to Scratch then the instructions will allow you to get used to building the blocks into a program.

There are additional examples to show you how to try different things but it is not expected that you can do all of these yet. It is still good to watch what can be done. Remember by completing these tasks you are learning programming concepts used in programming not just moving a cat.

 

Task #2 Game

The second video looks at creating a game. the pong game. During the task there are examples of conditionals, called if statements or if-else statements, which are common in programming.

The instructions are below and once you complete this task you may feel able to extend the game to improve it, or indeed create your own game. Experiment with different idea as you become confident in using Scratch. Have fun!

Task #3 Calculator

The third video looks at creating a calculator.The use of variables is constant for programmers whatever language they are using.

In this video the use of two variables provide the numbers that are then applied by an operator (+, -, * or /) to emulate a calculator.

A request to demonstrate how the calculate “to the power of” via a comment was made and watch out for a request video on the playlist (see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bTnurrCPp2o)

Don’t forget to download and follow the instructions below.

Task #4 Xylophone

The fourth task is to create a xylophone but the purpose of the lesson is to consider the logic in how to create each part in the most efficient approach.

A coder can create each rectangle of eight either by repeating the same instructions for each one, to use the duplication function on the rectangle thus reducing the amount of instructions, or dragging the code from one rectangle sprite to another.

There are many ways to complete code and the use of logic is vital in building programs and also helping build good programs.

Task #5 Animation

The fifth video looks at creating animation where the sprites interact to cause events. An octopus moves via the movement of the mouse and when a chasing dragon touches the octopus then it gets burnt.

There are many features in Scratch to make it more fun and this task uses some of these features. You will need the instructions below to help create this program.

Task #6 Lists

A data structure used commonly in programming is called a list in Scratch and python and an array in other programming languages. It is the same as a list in real life.

A collection of data items such as numbers, dates, times, words or any value are listed from the first item to the last. The list can be any length but we can access each item by it’s place, called the index (e.g. 1 for first item, 2 for second item etc.).

In other programming languages the index starts at 0. Try some research to find out why.

Task #7 Maze

We need to start to design our own programs so why not try to complete this task by yourself first? Instructions are below but it is a task of creating a simple maze.

Watch the video to help confirm what hopefully you already know and confirm you are now improving your programming skills.

Task #8 Reuse

Another important part of learning to program is t learn how and when to reuse code. This task is to complete a race game. But this is similar to the last task of creating a maze as the cat moves around in the same way.

We start off with the code from the last task. We then change the code for the new task which includes designing a race clock. Think how you would create a clock with minutes ans seconds. Can you code it by yourself now?

Task #9 Functions

This additional lesson introduces functions. Functions are one of the most important features of programming.

We often need to make a solution to a problem by breaking that problem down into smaller issues.

We code each part using functions. There are other benefits of using functions such as code reuse and ease of reading the code.

Task #10 algorithms

The final task id the most difficult using programming techniques to sort numbers into order using a sorting algorithm.

Task #10 algorithms

The final task id the most difficult using programming techniques to sort numbers into order using a sorting algorithm.

Summary of what we have learned

A look at ten programming concepts that we have learned by successfully completing this series.

Well done on completing the tasks and good luck with your future learning.

Scratch programming language

The Scratch programming language is free, fun and easy to learn. Most programming languages are text-based so a learner has to gain experience writing the code, but Scratch programming is easier as it uses blocks. The learner selects blocks, puts them together and runs the program in a simple way making it the most fun and easiest way to learn programming.

Start Scratch programming

Scratch in Simple English: An easy to understand tutorial for beginners on how to learn Scratch.

Scratch Programming | How to Learn Scratch

If you want to learn how to use Scratch, this tutorial for beginners is for you. Hi, my name is Dr Codie and I am going to show you exactly what the title says, “how to learn Scratch”. Codie means ‘helpful person’ and we want to help you not just learn how to program but to enjoy learning how to program.
 

How to Learn Scratch Programming | Starter

Scratch in Simple English: An easy to understand tutorial for beginners on how to learn Scratch. If you want to learn how to use Scratch, this tutorial for beginners is for you. Hi, my name is Dr Codie and I am going to show you exactly what the title says, “how to learn Scratch”.

Scratch programming Tools

Using Scratch for programming involves learning what the blocks do, so in this series of videos there are tutorials on how to use the various tools, the different blocks. Each video shows the Scratch programming to complete a simple task.

How to Learn Scratch Programming | Beginners | Pen

How to Learn Scratch programming using the pen.: An easy to understand tutorial for beginners on how to learn Scratch. In this video we write your name with the pen in Scratch.
 

How to Learn Scratch Programming | Beginners | Pong

Create the pong game where a paddle keeps a ball bouncing around the screen. Part 2 adds extra characters that are animals, sound effects and a score.

How to Learn Scratch Programming | Beginners | Marks

How to use Scratch variables and learn Scratch operators like addition and multiplication to calculate marks. Learn Scratch in Simple English: An easy to understand tutorial for beginners on how to learn Scratch.

How to Learn Scratch Programming | Loops | Lists

How to use lists and loops in Scratch to loop through a list elements. In this video we use nested loops to create an ordered list of color items. Learn Scratch in Simple English: An easy to understand tutorial for beginners on how to learn Scratch.

Scratch programming in Scratch 3

Scratch programming is the same in Scratch 3 although the interface looks different. In these videos we use the new version and show the differences and also how the use the MyBlock block.

How to Learn Scratch Programming | Scratch 3

How to use Scratch Desktop. Compare the new version Scratch 3.0 with the popular Scratch 2. Learn Scratch in Simple English: An easy to understand tutorial for beginners on how to learn Scratch.
 

Learn Python Coding from Scratch

Scratch MyBlock is similar to functions in python so here is an example in both scratch and python of using a function.