Tag Archives: scratch jr

NEW! TechnoTales Coding Activities for Beginners

TechnoTales is a new STEM project by TechnoKids Inc. It includes coding activities for beginners. Primary and elementary students in Grades 2-4 follow the detailed instructions to create a modern fairy tale using Scratch Jr. They learn how to build scripts to animate the story action.

coding activities for beginners

TechnoTales has coding activities for beginners. Build scripts to create an interactive story.

Blend Creative Writing With Coding

The lessons in TechnoTales guide students through the writing process. The project begins with an exercise that forms a connection between storytelling and scripts. Next, students answer questions about an example fairy tale to recognize the story elements. Once familiar with the task, they use a planning sheet to select the setting, characters, and plot. Afterwards, step-by-step instructions explain how create the story pages. A checklist is used to help students review the completed fairy tale to make revisions. Upon completion, the Techno Tale is shared with viewers.

story planner for a coding unit

Imaginative resources support learning.

Storytelling and Coding Activities for Beginners

TechnoTales gradually introduces students to programming concepts. Each story page applies a different coding technique:

Page 1 – Once Upon a Time: Introduce the problem in the story. Animate the hero embarking on a quest using Motion and Looks blocks.
Page 2 – Find a Hidden Item: Engage the viewer. Tap objects on the story page to reveal a hidden item that will help the hero.
Page 3 – Get Help: Seek someone that will help to solve the problem. Count the number of steps to produce an animated sequence that triggers an event when characters bump each other.
Page 4 – Happily Ever After: Create the story ending. Send and receive messages to show the characters celebrating.

Download Scratch Jr to Complete TechnoTales

To use the coding activities in TechnoTales you must have Scratch Jr installed on your devices. Scratch Jr is a free coding app for iPad, Android tablets, and Chromebooks. The interface is designed specially for children. To introduce programming concepts, colored blocks are sequenced together to form scripts. It is fun and easy to build interactive stories, animated scenes, and games.

Scratch Jr interface

Combine coding blocks to build scripts that animate the story action.

Teach Coding to Kids Using TechnoTales Instructional Resources

When you purchase TechnoTales, you will receive:

  • Teacher Guide: Detailed instructions for teaching a coding unit provide tips and strategies.
  • Student Workbook: Digital worksheets with screenshots and illustrated scripts support learning.
  • Example Videos: Sample fairy tales created with Scratch Jr help students gain an understanding of the task and spark inspiration.
  • Scratch Jr Flashcards: Large colored or black and white coding blocks can be used to build scripts as a visual aid.
  • Review Questions: Multiple choice, fill-in-the-blank, or short answer questions assess knowledge of Scratch Jr tools and scripts.
  • Skill Reviews: Optional activities solidify learning by transferring skills to a new coding project.
  • Assessment Tools: Customizable checklists and marking sheets evaluate the fairy tale.
  • Extension Activities: Enrichment lessons challenge students to expand their coding skills.
  • Offline Coding Exercises: Board game that applies computational thinking to have a player complete a quest.

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.