Programming 1: Scratch 3 Course Outline

The course is tightly aligned with the “Coding Projects in Scratch” textbook. This is deliberate as the book serves as a printed backup guide to how and why we do things in Scratch a particular way. Our approach to programming is to provide a solid foundation while at the same time stimulating the creative process with each student. Only this way they can develop to expand their creative skills and apply them to building their own unique projects.

What Is Coding?
  • Creative Computers
  • Programming Languages
  • How Scratch Works
  • The Scratch Interface
  • Types of Projects


Project 1: Cat Art

In this project we make different colored copies of the scratch cat that follow the mouse on the screen.

  • Creating a Project
  • Core Blocks: start, stop
  • Conditional Blocks: when clicked, when condition
  • Other Blocks: go to, change, stamp (clone), change, erase all.
Project 2: Dino Dance Party

We create a stage with three dancing dinosaurs.

  • Costumes
  • Programming the Dance Steps
  • Backgrounds
  • Blocks: movement, sounds, wait (pause)
  • Keyboard Control
  • Algorithms
Project 3: Animal Race

A two-player animal race program is built. We learn about the following concepts:

  • Message passing
  • Variables
  • The Scratch Grid
  • Boolean NOT operator
Project 4: Ask Gobo

Gobo is a simple fortune telling chat-bot. Gobo cannot really predict the future but creates random answers to yes/no questions, answering them in different ways.

  • Speech Bubbles
  • Random Numbers
  • if then use with operators blocks
  • Special Effects
Project 5: Funny Faces

In this project we explore the drawing tools inside of Scratch 3.

  • The Paint Editor
  • Paint Tools
  • More on the Scratch Grid and Coordinate System
  • Cloning
  • Transparencies


Project 6: Birthday Card

Why give an ordinary birthday card when instead you can make a personalized and animated one!

  • Buttons
  • Motion: Glide
  • Message Passage and Timing
  • Banners
  • Directions
  • Special Effects: fading
  • Adding Your Own Media (Photos, Sound)
Project 7: Spiralizer

In this art project we use Scratch code to make the artistic effects. Motion, different shapes and pen styles combined with cloning complete the effects.

  • The Scratch Pen
  • Clones
  • Rotation
  • Motion and Speed
  • The Magic Pen
Project 8: Fantastic Flowers

We design a meadow of beautiful flowers in this project. Instead of designing each flower separately we instead make use of functions / subprograms to do the repetitive work for us.

  • Function / Subprograms
  • Simple program math
  • Making Our Own Custom Block Type (Functions or subprograms)
  • Subprogram Arguments / Values


Project 9: Tunnel of Doom

This is a simple maze game where we have to guide Scratch Cat through a maze without touching the walls using the mouse.

  • The Paint Editor (background creation)
  • Transparencies With The Paint Editor
  • Background Music
  • Mouse Tracking
  • Repeat Until Loops
  • Timers
Project 10: Window Cleaner

This is a fun interactive game where the player is in a race against the computer to see how many paint splats he or she can remove before the clock runs out. The second phase of the game replaces the mouse as the pointing device with the player themselves using the computer webcam.

  • Paint Editor – Sprint Design
  • Keeping Score
  • Countdown Timer
  • Camera Control
  • Input Variable Sliders


Project 11: Virtual Snow

In this project we will create a winter scene complete with animated falling snow. Each snowflake will fall independently from the others and will either stick to the ground or any object it comes in contact with.

  • Paint Editor – Snow Sprite
  • Cloning
  • Secret Pictures
Project 12: Fireworks Display

This is another simulation project where we use clones to produce a desired effect. In this project we launch rockets which explode into fireworks.

  • Paint Editor – Rocket Sprite
  • Paint Editor – Gradients
  • Switching Backgrounds in Code
  • Simulating an Explosion of Stars
Project 13: Fractal Trees

We explore fractals or repeating patterns in computer generated images. We use this to tell the computer how to build a tree complete with branches and leaves.

  • What are fractals?
  • Defining The Algorithms
  • Drawing Your Tree
Project 14: Snowflake Simulator

In this extension to the fractal project, we use many of the same ideas to create a collection of unique snowflakes.

  • Line Drawing


Project 15: Sprites and Sounds

In this project we create a screen full of animated and vocal sprites. This is an amusing game where different sounds and effects can be created by the player.

  • Sound Blocks
  • Importing Sounds
  • Special Effects: Cheese Puffs
  • Recording and Editing Sounds
Project 16: Drumtastic

This project turns your computer keyboard into a drum machine. Note: possible coding error in section 10, page 194.

  • Basic String Handling
  • Character to Integer Mapping
  • Clone Private Variables
  • Controlling Tempo


Project 17: The Magic Spot

We explore an optical illusion known as afterimage in ths project. It shows how the mind sees colors over time.

  • if then else conditions
Project 18: Spiral-o-tron

The Scratch drawing tools (not the editor) are further investigated here. Sprials are used to show how geometric shapes can be created through code, including how they are rendered. Performance suggestions are provided to allow for faster computing and rendering times.

  • Setting Presets
  • Sound Reaction (coding with your microphone)
  • Hiders


Scratch Extensions
Building Your Own Hardware Extensions

Additional Resources

Programming 1: Scratch 3 Course Description – full description of this course