Objective: Learn about the basics of programming with Scratch, a visual programming language, and remix an online game.
Tools/Materials Required: Computer with a web browser and internet connection
Depth of Knowledge: Skills and Concepts
Teacher’s notes are in purple. For the student’s version, see Video Game Remix Student Guide.
Video games aren’t just fun to play — they’re also fun to make! In this project, you will learn the basics of computer programming by using Scratch, a visual programming language made by the MIT Media Lab. Scratch is designed to help novices create and share games, animations, and interactive stories in order to learn the basics of coding.
Before getting started with a Scratch project of your own, take some time to explore projects on the Scratch website. There are millions of projects out there to inspire you!
Talk to a friend about different games you like to play. What qualities make a game fun to play? Think about simple games in particular: with plain graphics and only a few controls, are there characteristics like difficulty settings, points, and quirky themes that make some games particularly enjoyable?
Before trying the practice exercises and project below, visit the Scratch homepage and follow the link to “Join Scratch” so that you can save your work.
Follow the Getting Started with Scratch tutorial to learn about the basic building blocks of coding with Scratch.
Explore additional tips for Scratch beginners for step-by-step tutorials and how-to guides.
Print a set of Scratch cards for students. Having a handful of these quick tips lying around the classroom can help inspire students and encourage them to try new programming techniques.
Remix a game! Now that you are familiar with the basics of coding in Scratch, try remixing a game.
Scratch allows you to remix any project on the website. Click on a game, then follow the “See inside” link (in the top right corner) to view the code that powers that project, then click “Remix” to save a copy of that project to your account that you can modify as you like.
Produced by Digital Promise Global, with thanks to the Open Educational Resources listed throughout this guide. Distributed to Learning Studios schools as part of HP, Inc. and Microsoft’s Reinvent the Classroom.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. You may share this project or modified versions of it under this same license.