In TechnoTales, students make a modern fairy tale. Using Scratch Jr, they will combine coding blocks to form scripts that animate the story action. The tale will be about a character that overcomes a problem by going on a quest. To live happily ever after, they must find a hidden item and locate someone that can help. What will happen in the "Once Upon a Time" adventure?
Programming Activities for Beginners
Blend coding with storytelling using ScratchJr. The fun lessons introduce programming concepts to elementary students in Grades 2-5. Illustrated instructions explain how to build scripts to animate a fairy tale.
Stem Lesson Plans for Kids
Spark an interest in coding. Students learn how to divide a task into steps, sequence instructions, and debug code. In addition, they become aware of how conditional logic can be used to trigger actions. TechnoTales provides a foundation for mastering other programming languages in the future.
Imaginative Coding Resources
TechnoTales includes a digital Teacher Guide and Student Workbook with easy to follow instructions. Worksheets may be printed or used in PDF format. Resources include story organizer, offline coding exercises, assessment tools, videos, and ScratchJr flashcards.
Engage in Visual Storytelling
Integrate creative writing with coding. Teach programming concepts in a way that is fun and understandable for children.
Download ScratchJr for Free
ScratchJr is a computer programming language that runs on iPads, Android tablets, and Chromebooks.
Session 1 Get to Know ScratchJr
Students are introduced to programming with ScratchJr. To start, they explore the program window to learn about commonly used tools. Afterwards, they investigate the Triggering, Motion, Looks, Sound, Control, and End blocks to discover their function. Once familiar with the coding blocks they build simple scripts to create an animated scene.
Session 2 Once Upon a Time
Students begin to create their Techno Tale. Their modern fairy tale will be told by building scripts using coding blocks in ScratchJr. To gain inspiration they watch an example story and answer questions about the setting, characters, and plot. Next, they complete a planning sheet to organize their ideas. Students then design their first story page. It introduces the problem and shows the hero embarking on a quest to find a solution. Motion and Looks blocks are used to animate the action.
Session 3 Embark on a Quest
Students design another page in their Techno Tale. In this part of the story, the hero embarks on a quest. They travel in search of a special item. The reader will join in the hunt by tapping objects on the page. When the correct location is found, the item will reveal itself. Wait and Repeat blocks are used to control the timing of each action.
Session 4 Seek Help
Students create the third page in their Techno Tale. In this part of the story, the hero seeks help. If-then logic is used to control the animation. Scripts start only when characters bump into one another. This produces a fun sequence of events. First the hero asks for help. Then the helper goes after the villain. Finally, the bad guy does an action to show the problem is solved. To create this story page, students learn how to display the grid and count steps to direct movement.
Session 5 Happily Ever After
Students animate their final page in their Techno Tale. At the ending of the tale the characters live happily ever after. Broadcasting is used to organize the timing of events. This form of conditional logic directs scripts to start only when a message is received. It is used to trigger characters to do an action to celebrate the problem being solved.
Session 6: Story Time
Students share their Techno Tale. To prepare the project for viewers, a checklist is used to guide revisions. The story is then shown to friends and family. At the end of TechnoTale, the young coders reflect upon the learning experience.
Optional Programming Activities for Beginners
- The Tale of the Sad Fairy: Animate a simple scene.
- How to Design a Character: Make a character using the Paint Editor.
- The Quest for the Fallen Star: Invent a game. Can the player find the star?
- Under Attack: Stop an alien invasion with coding blocks.
- Make Them Laugh: Send messages to tell funny jokes.
ScratchJr Programming Activities for Beginners - Coding for Kids
Welcome to the world of coding! TechnoTales is written for children ages 7 and up. The hands-on activities explain how to animate a fairy tale. Each story page applies a new programming technique.
- Plan the story including characters, setting, and plot
- Convert events into scripts that animate the action
- Determine coding blocks and values to complete a task
- Edit a script to achieve a desired outcome
- Reflect upon the coding experience
- Set the appearance and movement of a character
- Trigger a script to run using multiple methods
- Apply conditional logic to direct the timing of events
- Loop a script or repeat an action
- Position a character using x and y coordinates