This page offers a number of lesson plans for using the Scratch Programming environment within K-12 education to support discipline-specific education, as well as address educational standards expressed in the Common Core State Standards and the Next Generation Science Standards (Also known collectively in Kansas as the Career and College Ready Standards).
Scratch is a programming language and environment developed by MIT Media Lab's Lifelong Kindergarten Group, which attempts to make programming accessible by representing programming syntax as snap-together blocks in a visual multimedia programming environment. Scratch also has a strong educator community at ScratchED.
The lesson materials below are provided free-of-charge under the Creative Commons By Attribution License. Please feel free to copy, distribute, and even adapt these lesson materials to meet your needs - I only ask that you acknowledge the Department of Computer Science at Kansas State University and my role in creating and making them available.
This lesson introduces Scratch programming by challenging students to teach Scratch to perform Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy”. It also helps students to understand the mathematical background of musical notation and develop skills in counting & cardinality, algebraic operations, temporal reasoning, abstract thinking, and mathematical modelling.
This lesson is appropriate for all ages, but is especially useful for students learning to read music.
All files (including editable docx versions): Music.zip
This lesson involves adapting a book into a virtual stage production using Scratch. Developing an adaptation requires students to closely study the original work, and consider the implications of the new medium and how that will change aspects of the work. It also encourages the development of abstract, causal, and temporal reasoning, utilizes teamwork in small team and whole-class settings, and emphasizes revision and critique in writing, as well as developing 21st century literacy skills.
This lesson serves as a good introduction to creating a Scratch play, which can then be expanded upon to tackle a grade-specific work of literature.
All files (including editable docx versions): LiteratureAdaptation.zip
This lesson is primarily reinforcement for geometric shape knowledge. It also encourages the development of mathematical thinking and modelling skills, and provides an opportunity to apply shape knowledge in a hands-on manner. It embodies all of the Common Core Standards for Mathematical Practice. And, it introduces a number of Scratch blocks and programming practices that can be reused in future student endeavors.
This lesson was specifically targeted for 3rd Grade, but can easily be adapted for other levels.
All files (including editable docx versions): Geometry.zip
This lesson consists of several related modules can be used together to develop a sense of the engineering design process or modules can be used individually. The entire series will lead students through the design of a miniature catapult using engineering design practices, including: investigating material properties, structural properties, calculating forces using Newtonian mechanics, as well as utilizing statistical and computer modelling and simulation. While the modules have been designed specifically with middle school students in mind (as many of the concepts covered are introduced in the middle school setting), it can easily be adapted for high school usage by removing much of the scaffolding and allowing the students to develop the testing and simulation procedures they will be using themselves (HS-ETS1-2), emphasizing the use of Higher-Order Thinking Skills and problem-solving.
All files (including editable docx versions): Catapult.zip