Students around the district have been highlighting their artistic skills when learning to code a story in the iPad coding app, Scratch Jr. They are also gaining competency in computational thinking skills and discovering more about the importance of procedural language.
The Scratch Jr. app has ready-made background templates and characters that the students can choose from to include in their story. Once students choose their characters and setting, they use coding blocks to build their interactive story. Characters can move forward and backwards, turn, jump, grow in size, shrink, disappear, and reappear. Students can also include voice recordings and dialogue using specific coding blocks.
In addition, Scratch Junior includes a paint editor to enable students to edit their characters to better personalize their stories. For example, a blue fish can be turned into a yellow fish. Students can also use the camera tool to personalize a character, such as including their own face on a character.
Where the creativity really comes into play is when students use the drawing tool to create their own settings and characters. These drawn characters can also be coded to perform actions similar to the characters that are provided by Scratch Junior.
Here are some examples of students using the editing tools and coding blocks to stretch their stories into highly artistic representations of integrating the arts into coding.
The photos here show how the same student used the editing tools to create her own background to use in her story. She also personalized her characters as well.
The student below created a story involving two dogs and a cat. As a French Immersion student, his story also included dialogue and text in French. He coded the story so that when you touch the screen the story begins. The artistic element of the story is that the student coded the one character to shrink in size creating a scene that included perspective.