Skip to main content
Skip to main content

Time to rhyme

Integrating Digital Technologies
Years F-2

DT+ English


Retell a known nursery rhyme using ScratchJr to create an interactive animation.

ScratchJr is a tablet application (for iOS and Android) for learners who are just starting to learn about block coding. Its interface is simplifier with fewer distracting features than Scratch, accessed at http://mit.scratch.com (which students could also use). Ensure students are familiar with the basic features of the ScratchJr interface.


Screenshot from ScratchJr, interface, showing  a cat in a green field and blocks and functions above and beneath it.

Suggested steps

  1. Have students create a simple nursery rhyme, song, or dance in ScratchJr through sequencing speech bubbles and movement.
  2. Students animate the rhyme by using the programming blocks to create a series of steps to control the cat character's movement (the purple and blue code boxes).
  3. Students can choose a background or create their own, insert more characters, and use the audio block to record their voice as it retells the rhyme.
  4. Students can then extend the action through using loops and timers (the orange code boxes). Students can also add multiple scenes by clicking the blue plus icon in the top right corner.
  5. Encourage students to play and discover other functions and features that may enhance their animation.
  6. Students save their work and share their animation with their peers if they wish.

Limited, low, or no vision icon

Having limited, low or no vision:

Students with a vision impairment may benefit from the accessibility features that come with tablet and computer operating systems.

Discussion

  • After inviting students to share their finished animations, discuss the process involved in creating them. Encourage students to consider some of the challenges they experienced as they tried to create their animation.
  • Ask students to consider the consequences of not sequencing blocks correctly. Why is it important to test each step before adding other blocks?
  • Students may have discovered other features and functions within ScratchJr, such as character speed and/or repeat. Encourage students to share with their peers what they have just learnt, and to demonstrate some of these, eg how characters can be programmed to move at different speeds.

Why is this relevant?

ScratchJr is a developmentally appropriate visual programming language for students. Different programming languages are addressed in the Digital Technologies curriculum.

At the F–2 level, where learning at the pre-programming stage is the expectation, there is no requirement to learn a particular programming language. However, in years F–2 students do learn some basic programming skills, such as working out steps and decisions required to solve simple problems. For example, they program a robotic toy or sprite to move in a certain direction. The focus at this level is on designing a sequence of steps.

For younger students, developing the skills of computational thinking and algorithm development involves familiarisation with the language and concepts associated with instructions – such as movement, sequence, place and spatial awareness. This activity supports students to practise and consolidate these skills in algorithm development.