In this Excursion, we'll learn how to start programming with Scratch, a wonderful visual programming environment developed by the Lifelong Kindergarten group at the MIT Media Lab. Scratch makes it easy to create games, interactive stories, and animations. Scratch allows you to combine pictures, motion, and sound - within visual programs that you create. It also allows you to share your creations with others on the Internet. Some more information on the ideas behind Scratch is available at: Scratch Background Information.
As we go through this Excursion, we'll try to be as hands-on as possible. There's no better way to learn than by jumping right in and doing everything that we talk about (and more), so you're encouraged to experiment with the Scratch environment and the programs that we write as we go along.
When we talk about a specific programming task, the general approach we will follow will be to go right ahead and show you how to implement something, within sections marked as Hands On. When we're done programming, we'll step back and take a deeper look at the ideas behind what we just did - within sections marked Taking Stock. Sometimes, the Taking Stock sections might seem overly complex and hard to understand. If that's the case for you, you are encouraged to skip these sections and focus more on just playing along and trying out different things, and just generally having fun. You can always come back and read these sections later - after you have some more programs under your belt.
- At the top of each page you will see breadcrumbs leading to the page.
- Right after the content of each page, you will see Navigation arrows to take you to the Next, Previous, and Parent pages. These arrows look like this:
- At the bottom of each page you will see information relating to the page, including the page title. You will also see a Navigation map centered around the current page that will allow you to relate the page to its surrounding content. The current page title comes in handy when looking at the Navigation map.
With that out of the way, let's get going…