Scratch Logo, courtesy of MIT Media LabLiteracy from Scratch

Teacher Comments from the UK

The “Literacy from Scratch” project has helped all of my students in Year 8 (aged 12 to 13) to develop not only their literacy skills, but also their understanding of computer programming.

It is refreshing to see students so engaged in a project that involves programming. Some pupils stayed through their break times to work on their projects, even those who found it difficult at times!

I have been impressed with how much this project has spanned many subjects across the curriculum.

We plan to work more closely with other Departments next year. These will include ICT/CS teachers, English, Music, and Art teachers.

Nick Mayne
Bishop Ramsey School

Teacher Comments from the Czech Republic

The pupils enjoyed designing their stories in graphical form. They concentrated their attention not only on thinking about the idea of stories, but also on graphics activities with the aim of creating pictures and graphics to a high level of quality for their backgrounds and sprites.

All pupils succeeded in designing original sprites implanted into really original stories. From a didactical point of view, the “paper” phase of the story telling project was very important for Primary School pupils (Year 2-5). During this “paper” phase, pupils formulated, specified, and clarified not only the main ideas of their stories, but also the timings of the story, especially of the talking between their sprites. The “paper phases” contributed to the later visualisation of the pupils’ ideas of their stories and to the clarification of timing in their storylines.

Some hand-made graphical designs of stories were very complex, so it was sometimes impossible to transfer and re-draw easily them in 1:1 in Scratch graphics editor into a digital form. In such cases, pupils had to simplify their original hand-made pictures. Some hand-made pictures of backgrounds had to be scanned in order to be ready for using them in Scratch.

Another timing problem we met in the project was when children had to transfer dialogues in speech bubbles presented in their static paper version of scenarios into on-going talk between their sprites in the Scratch program.