Scratch Logo, courtesy of MIT Media LabLiteracy from Scratch

Materials by Teachers in English - Primary

Human Body (Sonesh Sakaria)

Year 1 Biology

Human Body The idea would be to use this interactive story to get pupils engaged in the program and have an idea of what their final product will appear like. This way it will create an exciting environment for coding and create a purpose for them to pursue. The first term would be concentrating on the art work; planning and designing their own sprites. The second term would move on to creating speech and conversations between sprites and perhaps movement after that.

Scratch evaluation

At first I created a project on an alien in space. I had the idea of the alien coming down to earth and teaching children (from the 1940’s) about the technology of the future. I was able to code the sequence to enable the alien to move onto the earth and say ‘well done’ for finding planet earth. I decided to change the subject to Science; the human body, using the same codes.

My new project is about Dexter being curious about the human body and healthy living. He shows us the gym and what the equipment is used for. Then Dexter transports us into his body. We are transported to his brain first where he discusses its function. Then Dexter gives us a multiple choice question about which fluid the brain needs to function. A display of the possible answers comes up on the screen as pictures. Once the correct answer is chosen, we get transported to Dexter’s heart where the same process occurs. Lastly, we get transported to Dexter’s bedroom as he is very tired from the transportations.

WWW – What Went Well…

I feel that my project has a good story line which is engaging for pupils. I incorporated a bit of light humour and interesting facts about the human body. The idea is to promote healthy living. All of the sprites are good; there are a variety of costumes used to keep audience engaged. Creating the multiple choice quiz with icons was good as it includes interactive learning. Also, the pupils are encouraged to use the keyboard to perform actions and use the mouse to answer questions to increase active learning. The timings of the project are good, costumes and backgrounds change quickly to keep a good flow. There is enough time for the pupils to read the information provided.

Issues addressed

When pressing the space button the information went away too quickly. Instead I changed the instruction to keep the text on display until the space button was actually pressed. I repeated this procedure with the right-arrow key to transport us to the next scene.

I used generalisation for the instructions when clicking the correct sprite (answer). But when I did this, the sprite said ‘well done’ for incorrect answer. I then realised that it was because of the broadcast being the same as the previous answers. Changed it to ‘well done!’ to overcome this obstacle. I also realised that the second lot of multiple choice answers were set to the same positions as the previous answers and therefore were overlapping.

EBI – Even Better If…

I think that my project could have been better by including music or audio for speech. If I were to create another project, I would like to include a translation in another language. I learnt that the information needs efficient time to be displayed on screen for pupils to read and interpret. It is imperative that each step is considered carefully before moving onto the next step to avoid confusion and organise structure to the project. I also learnt to use generalisation, abstraction, decomposition, debugging and evaluation in programming which can be effective tools across the curriculum.

Notes from the Course Tutor

These files are for use in the classroom. They can, of course, be adapted by teachers, with further resources, such as Sprites or Backgrounds, added by pupils.

I have included all the work of my teaching group here. There are many wonderful teaching ideas, and if we did not solve every coding problem effectively (none of us is an expert in Computing, including me!), the creativity of these young teachers more than makes up for it.

The teaching programme covered 30 hours of work at the computer, so if you start with one session of 60 minutes per week, you will become as proficient as they have been well before the end of your teaching year!

The key to success is to work with a partner, share ideas, and problem-solve together.