That Blue Square Thing

Scratch Programming

Scratch is a visual programming language. It's a great way to take the first steps in programming. It's also free and can be done used through a web browser.

> Start using Scratch on the webexternal link icon

This will take you to the Scratch homepage. You can click the Try it Out button to work on Scratch projects straight on the web. There's no need to log in or create an account.

Want some basic instructions to help get started? Here you go...

PDF iconScratch Guide - a getting started guide to using Scratch

PDF iconScratch Interface - a basic guide to the Scratch interface

PDF iconScratch for Parents - some key points and (I hope!) reassurance

Scratch has been developed at MIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts. It's a basic visual programming tool that's a fun way to teach some of the ideas around computer programming.

You can choose to download Scratch to run on your computer if you want to. This lets you work on projects without having to access the web.

You can create an account and log in to the website - there are forums and places to ask questions and you can upload your games for other people to see. There's no need to do this and if you want to do it you need to talk to your parents first.

There's an online guide for parentsexternal link icon they might want to read.

The Pong Project

Pong is a simple game that I remember from when I was a kid (back in the 1970s...). It's a good place to start to teach some Scratch ideas from.

Code iconDownload the incomplete Pong game - you will want to right click and Save as to save the game to your computer

Note that this a Scratch 2 project. It needs version 2 of Scratch to work!

This game isn't working. Your challenge is to complete the game to make it work!

Once you've done that you can start to add some features to the game to improve it.

PDF iconThe Pong Code - talks you through the code already in the Pong project

PowerPoint iconThe Pong Challenges - a PowerPoint for use in class

PowerPoint iconCoding the Pong Bat - pseudo code instructions

PowerPoint iconAdding sound - a simple PowerPoint for use in class

PDF iconSound instructions - walks you through adding sounds

PowerPoint iconAdding a score - a simple PowerPoint for use in class

PDF iconAdding screens - a help sheet to show you how to add multiple backdrops to a Scratch project.

PDF iconMultiscreen Pong Code - talks you through the exact code needed to run a multi-screen version of Pong

There's more that could be done to this game to make it even more interesting. This is where your imagination can take over!

The Pong game was produced by Scratcher (and teacher) mistermacleodexternal link icon. I've remixed it from the Scratch websiteexternal link icon under the same Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic licenseexternal link icon. In other words, use it however you like, but give both mistermacleod and me credit for using it (and link to here please if you put it online)