Get creative with math! How can math help you create your own animations and design your own games?
Scratch is designed to let you code your own animations, games, and other interactive projects. In the process of creating Scratch projects, you use key math concepts, such as X and Y coordinates to control the position of your characters in an animation and variables to keep track of the score in a game.
Math concepts become more meaningful and understandable when you use them to make a project that interests you.
This package 🎁 is developed for you by the Lifelong Kindergarten group at the MIT Media Lab, in collaboration with the Scratch Team and MIT J-WEL pK-12.
In these activities, you’ll get a chance to:
- Play and experiment to create colorful and dynamic animations 🌈
- Make your own interactive games, such as pong or catch 🏓
- Learn math concepts in the process of designing your own animations and games 🔑
- Find out how creating projects and sharing them with others can help you develop creativity, communication, and problem-solving skills 🌐
Make sure you scroll to the bottom for additional activities.
You can use the Scratch coding environment to create your own interactive art and animations. This week we’re featuring one way to make art and animations called Sprite Art.
Activity: Sprite Art
Sprite Art is a way to make dynamic patterns by programming shapes to move, spin, and clone themselves.
In the process of experimenting and creating Sprite Art, you use a variety of mathematical ideas, including exploring angles, experimenting with shapes, and generating patterns that change over time.
The Sprite Art video and activity was developed by Shruti Dhariwal, a PhD student in the Lifelong Kindergarten group at the MIT Media Lab, who designs new tools and experiences to support expressive, personally meaningful, and joyful creative learning.
|See Sprite Art in Action!|
Watch the Sprite Art video for inspiration and to see the wide variety of dynamic animations you can create.
|New to Scratch?|
If it’s your first time using Scratch, you may want to begin with the Getting Started tutorial.
To find out how to spin a sprite in Scratch, watch the Spin tutorial. Click the Tutorials button to access more tutorials.
To change the language in Scratch, from the 🌐 language menu in the Scratch project editor.
Scratch Account: To save, share, and comment on Scratch projects, you can join Scratch and sign up for an account. Scratch is available free of charge.
For children 7 or younger, we recommend ScratchJr. See the “ScratchJr for Younger Children” section to learn how to get started.
|Play and Experiment with Sprite Art|
You can play and experiment with a variety of Sprite Art projects in the Sprite Art – Sample Project studio.
Each project has instructions on how you can interact and play with it.
Click the See Inside button to look at the code and make changes. Try typing in different numbers to see what happens. You can add different shapes by clicking the Costumes tab.
|Create Your Own Sprite Art|
For more ideas and inspiration, you can see what others have created in the Sprite Art Studio.
You can use Scratch to design your own games! In the process of coding games in Scratch, you gain experience with coordinates, negative numbers, variables, and other mathematical ideas.
|Design a Pong Game|
|Make a Physical Game with Video Sensing|
|Make a Catch Game|
|Make a Platform Game|
If you already have experience coding games in Scratch and want an extra challenge, you can explore how to make a platform game in Scratch. You can search on the Scratch site to find platform games or “platform engines” that others have made. You may want to start by searching for phrases such as “simple platformer” or “easy platformer”.
ScratchJr is a free coding environment designed for younger children, with a focus on ages 5 to 7. With ScratchJr, children can create their own interactive stories and games.
In the process of making projects with ScratchJr, children develop a broad range of literacy, numeracy, and problem-solving skills, including use of numbers for controlling size, distance, and timing.
ScratchJr on iPad or Android: You can download and install ScratchJr for iPad or Android tablets using links on the ScratchJr website.
ScratchJr for Desktop: Looking for a version of ScratchJr for laptop or desktop computer? There’s an unofficial version of ScratchJr for Windows or Mac that you can download and install from this ScratchJr for Desktop webpage.
|Creating with ScratchJr|
The ScratchJr program comes with help pages, tutorials, and sample projects for getting started.
The Lifelong Kindergarten research group at the MIT Media Lab develops new technologies and activities that engage people in creative learning experiences. We often describe our approach to creative learning using four guiding principles: Projects, Passion, Peers, and Play. By providing young people with opportunities to work on projects, based on their passions, in collaboration with peers, in a playful spirit, we can help them prepare for a world where creative thinking is more important than ever before.
Passion for Learning: Making Variables Meaningful
In this video, Mitchel Resnick, who leads the Lifelong Kindergarten group, talks about how passion motivates learning and gives the example of a young person learning about variables by creating a game.
|Why Scratch for Learning?|
Educators from around the world describe why they use Scratch to support learning across the curriculum.
|Scratch in Practice|
Scratch in Practice (SiP) highlights ideas for using Scratch to support learning in schools and other learning environments. The SiP site includes a variety of videos from educators sharing their suggestions and other resources for integrating Scratch across subject areas to engage learners with diverse interests, including why we suggest starting with exploration. See the Scratch in Practice website for more resources.
|Learning Creative Learning|
To connect and learn more, join our Learning Creative Learning online course and community of educators around the world.