Kid coding is a real thing. And with tools like MIT’s brilliant web-based software, Scratch, it’s more accessible and easy to understand than ever. Scratch is a programming tool where kids can learn to program animated stories, video games, and interactive art projects that use “code blocks” to provide commands and sequences to animated sprites. On top of that, by using Scratch, kids (and anyone really) also learn systematic reasoning and sequencing to creatively build and design their animations.
My 6th graders customized their Scratch animations by creating their own sprites and costumes with photography, a little Photoshop work, and the costume ungroup tool. The process looked like this:
1. Take photos in front of a green screen in three different poses.
2. Import the photos into Photoshop. Erase the background. (Yay eraser tool!)
3. Import the new, background-less photos into Scratch.
4. Animate yourself and your friends.
Most of the animations consisted of crazy dance parties, and sometimes, a date with Ariana Grande (trust me, they got very creative with the costume and custom sprite tools). Their coding became more and more involved as they wanted to add more sprites into their stories, which resulted in them writing lines of code that revealed a budding understanding of logic and sequencing.
Learning to code right now should be just as ubiquitous in the classroom as learning fractions or prepositions. Thankfully, with Scratch, it can be.
Check out more at: http://www.scratch.mit.edu