Scratch Logo, courtesy of MIT Media LabLiteracy from Scratch

Materials by Teachers in English - Primary

Ellie the Elephant (Amy Kearne)

Ellie the ElephantIntroduction

I have created an interactive story using Scratch aimed at children in Key Stage 1, year one. My project is a story that involves the children answering questions based on Maths. The story revolves around Ellie the Elephant (Sprite 1), who wants to travel around the world but she needs some help. During her journey she meets another elephant called Timmy (Sprite 10), they decide to continue travelling together.

What went well?

I think the idea developed well and linked well with the questions as they were relevant to the story. Creating the Sprite’s and backgrounds for the project was very simple and easy to do. To create the sprites, I imported a picture from the computer and then edited it slightly in Paint. To create the background, I imported pictures from the internet and then expanded them to fit the whole of the screen.

What problems did I encounter and how did I resolve them?

Every aspect of the project, such as the different background and sprites, had to be timed and told when to appear and hide. If this was not accurate the interactive story will not run effectively as every time something was added or changed the timings would also change. This was something that I found to be a constant problem for me throughout the development of project. To overcome this, I counted the seconds for each sprite and background to appear and hide on the screen.

How could this idea be developed in the classroom?

This idea could be used in the schools in various different ways. In year 1, children could use the project as an interactive game to support them in maths. They could also create their own interactive story in a similar style, focusing on a different subject/ topic area. For example; they could create an interactive story with questions based on the particular topic they are learning, therefore making it cross curricular. Children could work in pairs and begin making story boards, which they can then transfer onto Paint. By working in pairs, children can create a Sprite each, so that they can talk to each other. Children will also have to think about the dialogue and story that could be used. This could be another prior lesson.

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.