Tag Archives: scratch jr

How to Move a Character Diagonally in Scratch Jr

You can move a character diagonally in Scratch Jr to create smooth animations. This is a great way to glide an object or person upwards and downwards, without the movement looking choppy. Make it slide in a continuous line, instead of walking in a zigzag pattern to the top of the stage, by going one step right and then one step up.

move a character diagonally in Scratch Jr

Move a character diagonally in Scratch Jr.

About Scratch Jr and Coding

Scratch Jr is an app that teaches coding to kids. It is designed for children ages 5 and up. Scripts are made by connecting blocks of instructions together. Although, Scratch Jr can be used by beginners to create simple animated scenes, the program can also be applied to design graphic stories and games. Scratch Jr is ideal for jump starting an understanding of programming concepts before learning how to build more complicated projects with other apps such as Scratch.

How to code diagonal movement in Scratch Jr is an advanced programming skill. It is suitable to teach students this technique only after they have mastered the basics. As a prerequisite, they should already know how to build a script that moves a character left, right, up, and down.

Moving diagonally is more complicated to code because it requires a character to have two scripts that run at one time. The first script moves the character up (or down). The second script moves the character left (or right).

Scratch Jr script

The character moves right and up AT THE SAME TIME.

Steps to Move a Character Diagonally in Scratch Jr

The instructions listed below are from the project, TechnoWhiz published by TechnoKids Inc. TechnoWhiz has a collection of Scratch Jr activities designed to introduce programming basics in a fun way for kids. The steps are part of the Session 1 Extension Activity.

  1. Open a new project in Scratch Jr.
  2. Build the first script. It should move the character to the left or right. In the example below the character will move right forever.

    loop forward

  3. Build the second script. It should move the character up or down. In the example below the character will move up forever.

  4. Run the program.
  5. Stop the program. stop

Tips for Modifying the Program

You can have the character move a short distance instead of loop forever. To do this, build scripts that have the SAME number of steps. For example:

Glide a character diagonally five steps.

Coding Activities for Scratch Jr

technowhiz

TechnoWhiz has a collection of Scratch Jr activities that introduce coding to kids.

Set the Speed Scratch Jr Lesson for Kids

A Scratch Jr lesson for kids that is fun to teach is how to set the speed of characters. This activity is suited to students who understand how to build simple scripts in Scratch Jr and are ready for a new challenge. Typically, the Set Speed block is used to create a racing scene with three racers. Characters move slow, medium, and fast. This is an excellent activity to show the difference in speed. However, there are many other ways to use the Set Speed block in Scratch Jr. Discover how this coding block can be used to ignite creativity in your students.

set speed in Scratch Jr

Set the speed a character moves in Scratch Jr. to invent a racing game.

About the Set Speed Block

Scratch Jr is an app that introduces programming concepts to primary and elementary students. Coding blocks are joined together to create simple scripts and loops that control the movement and appearance of characters. Young coders can design animated scenes, games, interactive collages, and stories by sequencing actions.

Scratch Jr has a Set Speed coding block that can be used to control actions. It has three options: slow, medium, and fast. By adding this block to a script it can control the rate a character moves, hops, turns, grows, or shrinks. To help young children use the coding block, a symbol illustrates the speed of an action. It is person walking or running.

set speed choices

A symbol shows the speed. A character can do an action slow, medium, or fast.

Set the Speed a Character Moves

To help students understand how to use the Set Speed block teach an introductory Scratch Jr lesson. Explore how to control the movement of a character by adjusting how quick or slow it moves across the stage. Below are some suggestions for teaching this coding skill to beginners:

  1. Create a simple script that moves a character right. Set the number of steps to 7.
  2. script race fast

    Build a script that sets the speed the character moves.

  3. Adjust the speed to see how this alters the movement. Compare the slow slow speed, medium medium speed, and fast options.
  4. Increase the number of steps. number of steps The speed becomes more noticeable.
  5. As an extra challenge, have students add two of the same characters. One should move slow and the other fast. Compare the difference in speed.

Create a Silly Animated Scene using the Set Speed Block

Once students understand how to use the Set Speed coding block they can create silly scenes. View a sample video made using a Scratch Jr lesson for kids from the TechnoWhiz technology project. The activity has students code identical characters that move at different speeds. Children will enjoy seeing their animations!

Set the Speed a Character Hops

The Set Speed coding block provides many creative possibilities. For example, a character can be programmed to hop up and down at different speeds. This is great way to animate the events in a scene or short story. However, for young coders ready to extend their learning, the Set Speed block can be used to invent a fun game for kids to play. By adjusting how high and fast each jumper hops, the player must watch closely to spot the Hop to the Top champ. The trick to coding this project is to build a script using the Start on Tap block. This allows the player to click on each jumper to identify who hoped the most.

Design the Hop to the Top Game using the Set Speed Block

Students in Grades 1-3 can invent games using Scratch Jr. Download a sample Scratch Jr lesson for kids. This activity is from the TechnoWhiz technology project. It is a skill review that outlines how to build the Hop to the Top game.

Download the Hop to the Top Scratch Jr Lesson for Kids. This lesson is from the TechnoWhiz project. It has Scratch Jr lesson plans and offline coding activities that teach programming basics to children in Grades 1-3.

Set the Speed a Character Turns, Grows, or Shrinks

Once students understand how to control the speed of a character in Scratch Jr, the creative possibilities become endless. One stumbling block to recognizing the potential of the Set Speed block is not setting the value of the coding block. If the default number is left unchanged, despite the Set Speed option being set, the speed is unnoticeable. For example, the Turn Right and Turn Left blocks should be set to 6 or 12 to see how quickly or slowly a spin can happen. As well the Grow and Shrink coding blocks should be set to at least 6 or higher to really spot the change in size. By applying this technique students will be able to create fantastic stories, games, or interactive collages.

Explore a Magical Place using the Set Speed Block

A coding activity that will engage students is to build an interactive collage. The player clicks on objects in the scene to watch them come to life. The design must have one action that happens slow, medium, and fast.

scratch jr

Design an interactive collage. The Set Speed block controls how fast or slow an action happens.

How to Copy a Script in Scratch Jr

Do you want to copy a script in Scratch Jr from one character to another? You can! Follow these instructions to save time when building and editing scripts.

Want to Copy a Script in Scratch Jr to Save Time?

In this example, the penguin’s script will be duplicated for the polar bear.

  1. Select the character in Scratch Jr whose script you would like to copy. It should turn orange.
  2. Grab the FIRST block in the script. This makes it easy to copy a script in Scratch Jr.
  3. copy a script in Scratch Jr

    Select the FIRST block in the script. NOTE: The sample script moves a character slow forever.

  4. Drag the script from the programming area over top of the other character.
  5. how to copy a script in scratch jr

    Drag the script over top of a character to copy a script in Scratch Jr.

  6. Select the character to see the copied script.
  7. select character

    Select the character to see the copied script.

  8. You can keep the script the same. Or, you can edit the blocks to change what the character does.
  9. copy a script

    The copied script shows in the programming area.

Are You Looking for Scratch Jr Coding Activities?

Copying scripts is an advanced Scratch Jr coding skill. It is best taught to students that already understand how to use the app and are now interested in learning time saving tips. If you are looking for more programming hints, take a look at TechnoWhiz. It is a technology project with Scratch Jr lessons, published by TechnoKids Inc. The activities introduce computer science concepts to children in Grades 1-3. It has 16 assignments, 5 reviews, 5 skills reviews, and 6 extension activities.

In TechnoWhiz, students build scripts and loops to design animations, games, and interactive collages. They learn how to copy scripts from one character to another, in the Invent a Far Away Planet skill review. In this activity, the young coders create an animated scene with characters that move at different speeds. On this planet, there are two of everything. Everyone has a twin that looks the same. One of the twins moves fast. The other one moves slow. Watch the Planet of Twin video to see a sample of the fun projects students can make with Scratch Jr.

Coding Apps for Kids and Scratch Jr

Are you interested in coding apps for kids? Scratch Jr is a free app designed to introduce programming to children in Grades 1-3. It can be used to teach basic computer science concepts. Primary and elementary students will have fun building animations, interactive collages, stories, and games. If you are searching for Scratch Jr lessons you may want to take a look at the TechnoWhiz technology project. It is jam-packed full of fun coding activities.

Coding Apps for Kids – Top 10 Reasons to Use Scratch Jr

There are many coding apps for kids. However, Scratch Jr has many features that make it ideal for beginners. ScratchJr is a collaboration between the DevTech Research Group at Tufts University, the Lifelong Kindergarten Group at the MIT Media Lab, and the Playful Invention Company. Discover 10 reasons it might be the perfect fit for your students.

1. Only One Block is Needed to Become a Programmer

Scratch Jr instantly transforms students into programmers. With virtually no effort they can create animations. This is because coding blocks can be used as action buttons. By dragging only ONE coding block into the programming area and then clicking on it, students can control the movement of a character. This immediately empowers students and makes them feel good about programming as they can watch their character walk, hop, or dance.

2. Simple Interface

The layout of the Scratch Jr window is easy to navigate. In the center of the window is the stage. It is used to arrange the characters, text, and backgrounds in a project. Below the stage, is a programming area used to build scripts. Above the stage are six tools that allow the user to set viewing options, insert objects, or play a program. To the left side of the stage are the characters in a project. To the right of the stage are the pages in a project. The uncluttered design makes it simple to identify where to complete a task.

Coding apps for kids. The Scratch Jr interface is easy for children to use.

The Scratch Jr interface is easy for children to use.

3. Color-Coded Blocks Help Beginners Locate Commands

In Scratch Jr, scripts are made by joining blocks together in the programming area. To help children locate the different commands, the blocks are sorted into six color-coded categories:

  • A Triggering block is yellow.
  • A Motion block is blue.
  • A Looks block is pink.
  • A Sounds block is green.
  • A Control block is orange.
  • An End block is red.
triggering block Triggering Blocks Pick how to start a program.
motion block Motion Blocks Move a character.
looks block Looks Blocks Change the size or hide a character.
sound block Sounds Blocks Play a pop sound or record your own.
control block Control Blocks Set the timing of an action.
end block End Blocks Pick what happens at the end of a script.

4. Coding Blocks are Designed for Early Readers

Many coding apps for kids are text-based, which requires strong reading skills. In contrast Scratch Jr is graphic-based, making it ideal for emergent readers. The coding blocks have symbols that illustrate the function. For example, the Move Left command is an arrow; the Shrink command is a tiny person, and the Wait command is a stop watch. This allows primary and elementary students with limited reading skills to identify the block they need to complete an action.

move right Move Right
shrink Shrink
wait block Wait

5. Scripts are Horizontal

Children learn how to read sentences by reading each word from left to right. This literacy concept is transferred to Scratch Jr. The coding blocks are joined together to form a horizontal line. The sequence of the actions happens from left to right. The similarity to reading words in a sentence makes it easier for young coders to understand how to build and edit scripts. Some coding apps for kids stack coding blocks from top to bottom, whereas Scratch Jr recognizes the importance of creating horizontal scripts.

Scratch jr script

Scripts are read from left to right.

6. Coding Block Turns a Different Color to Help with Debugging

Scratch Jr provides visual cues to help students debug a script. Debugging is finding and correcting programming errors. When students are testing their program, they can see both the stage and the programming area. The action that is currently happening on the stage is highlighted by darkening the active coding block in the script. This helps to identify the location of a scripting error.

active coding block

The active coding block darkens when a script is running.

7. Visual Cues Identify Active Character

A Scratch Jr project can have many characters, which can be a source of confusion. To avoid editing the script of the wrong one, visual cues communicate which character is selected. In the window, the active character appears on an orange background. In addition, the programming area displays a grayscale illustration of the character. These hints remind young coders about which script they are building or editing. When reviewing coding apps for kids, the use of visual cues is an important factor.

scratch jr multiple characters

Visual cues help students identify the active character.

8. Grid Helps Students Intentionally Move a Character

In Scratch Jr, the value of each Motion block can be set to control the number of steps a character moves. To determine the correct amount, a grid can be shown. It contains a vertical and horizontal number line. The location of the character is identified on the number line using blue circles. On some devices, squares are overlaid on the stage, which makes it easy to count the number of steps.

count and code

A grid helps to set the value of Motion blocks to direct movement.

9. Character Library Provides Creative Opportunities

The Scratch Jr Character library offers a range of choices, without being overwhelming. There are many cartoon creatures, animals, people, objects, buildings, and vehicles. This variety makes it possible to create unique animations or games. Another benefit is that some of the characters have blank faces. These can be edited to include a webcam photo of the student.

The Character library offers many choices.

10. Background Library Provides Curriculum Ties

The Scratch Jr Background library has many images that can be used as scenery. For example, there are farm, city, home, underwater, school, and space themed backdrops. Aside from illustrating the setting, the backgrounds can also be used to teach concepts such as animal habitats or seasons. As well, many of the backgrounds can be used to practice mapping skills. Students can select a point in the picture and code a character to move to that location.

background library

The Background library provides images with curriculum ties.

TechnoWhiz Coding Lessons for Kids

If you want to use Scratch Jr but are not sure how to get started, take a look at TechnoWhiz. It is a technology project published by TechnoKids Inc., with Scratch Jr coding lessons. It introduces students to programming fundamentals in a way that is easy to understand. The whiz kids create silly animated scenes, design a pet monster game, and build a magical land. Have fun developing computational thinking and spark an interest in computer science concepts.

scratch jr lessons

TechnoWhiz has Scratch Jr lessons for kids.