Teacher Review for Scratch

Scratch Jr.--Storytelling with Animation

Cathy P.
Media specialist/librarian
Pope John XXIII School, Evanston
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My Subjects English Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies, Arts
My Rating
Learning Scores
My Students Liked It Yes
My Students Learned Yes
I Would Recommend It Yes
Setup Time Less than 5 minutes
Great for Creation
Further application
Knowledge gain
Small group
Student-driven work
Whole class
Great with Advanced learners
Low literacy
Special needs
How I Use It
Scratch Jr. is a version of Scratch for our younger students supporting their exploration of beginning programming through story-telling. This app offers backgrounds to use along with many characters to add to the backgrounds. The story unfolds through the movement of the various characters and their interaction. Students need to see the whole picture as well as the individual character movements in order for their design to work. Students are able to program each character by using blocks to start their program, move their characters and end the program. This is very intuitive, and with a little bit of trial and error the students are able to create their story.
My Take
Scratch Jr. is a wonderful tool to explore programming. The students learn to code by moving the characters through the chosen background, the setting of the story. The interaction of the characters with the setting creates the story. This program can be used in a variety of classroom activities, individual students could create a story, partners working together could collaborate and even small groups could work together showing patience and excitement as their stories unfold. This is a great tool to introduce basic programming, engaging and fun.