Get arty with Scratch scripts

Teachers often ask us how they can support their pupils’ progression and creativity in Scratch programming, writes London CLC computing education expert Rowan Roberts. One great way is to give children the opportunity to get artistic with their Scratch scripts. Check out these arty example projects. Each one shows off a different feature which your pupils can use to piece together their own Scratch masterpiece.
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Scratch art project screen shot
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1. Palm tree: This project showcases how, by using “more blocks” to define their own scripts, pupils can gradually build up greater levels of complexity in their programming. Naming procedures effectively also makes them much easier to debug whenever they go wrong!
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2. Hypnotic pattern: This deceptively simple program makes use of Scratch’s “clone” function. As time goes on the sprite creates more and more copies of itself, each of which adds a random swirl to the colourful pattern.
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3. Sound visualisers; waves and blobs: These two projects use the microphone input to affect the behaviour of a continuous line which a sprite draws across the screen. You can press the arrow keys to play sounds or speak into your microphone to make all sorts of colourful shapes appear.
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4. Forest Hill: This final project, inspired by a part of South London, automatically generates a randomised forest on a hill. It brings together some of the more complex ideas from the projects above, along with some secondary maths skills. Like many Scratch projects, this one’s a work in progress… maybe your pupils can think of some ways to improve it.
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To explore some more exciting approaches to using Scratch in school, why not book a spot on our Advanced Scratch CPD session onFriday 8th June. If you’re still getting to grips with Scratch and could use a step-by-step introduction, take a look at UCL’s ScratchMaths curriculum. Each module contains teacher guides,  presentations and example Scratch projects containing all you need to get started, plus the activities are designed to support the year 5 and 6 mathematics curriculum.

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