1. Getting started with Scratch

Hands On: Familiarizing yourself with the Scratch Environment

The best way to get to know Scratch is to start playing with it. So go ahead and do the following:

At this point you should see the following Window (click on the Window to see a bigger picture):


Some of the important areas of this Window (numbered in red in the image above) are:

  1. The Stage: where your creations come to life. The stage above shows one Sprite (a cat). Sprites are the characters in your Scratch creations.
  2. The Blocks Palette: contains the building blocks for programming your Sprites. Using these blocks, you can tell a Sprite to move around, make sounds, play music, react to its environment, etc.
  3. Blocks Selector: allows you to switch between blocks of different categories.
  4. The Script area: You drag blocks from the blocks palette into this area and snap them together into scripts for your Sprites.
  5. The Sprite List: shows you the current set of Sprites that you are working with.
  6. Buttons to start and stop your animation.

Hands On: Making the Cat dance

To see some sound and action on the screen, we're going to make the Cat dance on the screen. Follow along…

  • Click on the Cat icon in area #5. We can now start working with the Script for the Cat.
  • We want the Cat to start moving and dancing when we click the green flag. To specify that, click on the control.gif button in Area #3, and pull in the when-flag-clicked.gif block into the Script area.
  • Look at the following picture for guidance and pull in more blocks into your script. The color of the block should tell you which block category to click on to find the block. The categories you will need to go to are: motion.gif and looks.gif
  • Does your script look like the picture above. If so, go ahead and click the green-arrow.gif on the top right to start your animation.

Did the Cat do a dance step?

Congratulations. You just wrote your first Scratch program!

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