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Act 3 Curriculum

ACT 3 of the Elementary for ALL curriculum consists of lessons on introducing coding and computational thinking skills in Scratch, teaching environmental science concepts, and creating community-based projects on environmental issues in Scratch projects.

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Learning Objectives

  1. Create and log into a Scratch account.

  2. Import and edit sprites in the Scratch environment.

  3. Define “sequence”, “algorithm”, “program”, “events”, “loops”, and “animation”. 

  4. Code a project with animation. 

  5. Code a project using “broadcast” and “receive” blocks to synchronize elements in their project.

Unit 1: Learning Scratch

Unit Overview

This unit will introduce your students to the fundamentals of Scratch. At the end of this unit, students will be able to code their own projects with animated characters, add text or voice for narration, import graphics of their choice, and they will be able to time conversations between characters. They will be able to create animated stories and interactive reports on any topic. This unit also briefly introduces students to the computer science concepts of sequence, event, and loop.

Lesson 1.1 Setting Up Scratch Accounts 

Students will create and log into a new Scratch account. Students will be introduced to the Scratch environment.

Lesson 1.2: Introduction to Scratch

Students will explore parts of the Scratch environment. They will learn how to add their projects to a Scratch students and how to edit edit and import an image in Scratch.

Duration: 50 minutes

Lesson 1.3: Scratch Charades

Students familiarize themselves with coding commands, specialfically in the Scratch language, in an unplugged activity acting the scripts out. Students enjoy playing this version of the familiar charades game.

Duration: 50 minutes

Lesson 1.4: Coding Concepts 1 - Sequence, Algorithm, Program

Students will be introduced to the concepts of sequence, algorithm, and program. They will learn the difference between the “glide” and “go to” Scratch block. They will debug an existing project. Finaly, they will tinker in Scratch.

Duration: 50 minutes

Lesson 1.5: Coding Concepts 2 - Events, Loops, Animation

Students will learn about events, loops, and animation. They will learn that animation is a series of images that are in a loop. They will gain an understanding of the concept from a lecture, from videos, from debugging and from making their own flipbook.

Duration: 50 minutes

Lesson 1.6: Broadcasting and Receiving

Students will learn how to time interactions in Scratch by using the “broadcast” and “receiving” block. This skill enables students to time interactions between characters when creating a digital story or when including narration or music in a project.

Duration: 50 minutes

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Unit 2: Modeling an Ecosystem

These lessons teach students that a system is two or more parts that interact to form a whole. Students learn about how trees affect people and how people affect trees. The concept of cause and effect is taught explicitly. For the Scratch project, students narrate the relationships and animate sprites in a tree connection circle. Students also  

Lesson 2.1: What is a system? 

Students will define what a system is and will recognize what is and isn't a system.

Lesson 2.2 All Parts Work Together

Students will identify parts and the relationships between the parts  in a chaparral ecosystem. 

Lesson 2.3: Distruptions in an Ecosystem

Students will 

  1. Explain how invasive species enter an ecosystem

  2. Explain how the invasive black mustard plant has affected the chaparrel ecosystem

  3. Share what people are doing to rescue ecosystems from invasive species

  4. Identify and report on an invasive species in their local community

Duration: 

Lesson 2.4: Demonstrating Interactions in Scratch

Students will explore the concept of parallelism. They will codbroadcast blocks and they will incorporate loops into their projects.

Duration: 

Lesson 2.5: Modeling an Ecosystem

Students will build a model of an ecosystem in Scratch.

Duration:

Lesson 2.6: Reflect and Share

Students will share their reflections on their project and its process. They will listen and learn from the projects of their classmates. They will give specific feedback to their classmates. 

Duration:

Unit 2
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Unit 3: Variables, Conditionals, and Functions

Variables Overview 

If, Then, Else Conditionals Overview

Functions Overview

3.1 Intro to Variables

Students are introduced to the concept of input variables and how to create and set programmer defined variables.

Duration: 45 minutes

Lesson 3.2: Use, Create, and Set Variables with TIPP&SEE

Students explore a Scratch project to understand variables in context using TIPP&SEE.

Duration: 50 minutes

Lesson 3.3: Quest and Plan

Students will play a Scratch version of charades and determine the script that is performed by the actor. They will learn how block-based programming works without the complexity of the Scratch platform.

Duration: 50 minutes

Lesson 1.4: Coding Concepts 1 - Sequence, Algorithm, Program

Students will review the concepts of sequence, algorithm, and program to give them language to talk about the process of creating projects. Students will debug code to better understand the importance of initialization. They will work on a project called "Making Things Move and Talk".

Duration: 50 minutes

Lesson 1.5: Coding Concepts 2 - Events, Loops, Animation

This lesson introduces the concepts of events, loops, and animation. They will debug code to discover the importance of "wait" blocks in animation. Students will make a flip book to help students development their conception of animation. 

Duration: 50 minutes

Lesson 1.6: Broadcasting and Receiving

This lesson introduces students to the concept of broadcasting and receiving. This is an important concept that enables sprites (characters) to interact.

Duration: 50 minutes

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Unit 4 Visualizing Data

These lessons teach students that a system is two or more parts that interact to form a whole. Students learn about how trees affect people and how people affect trees. The concept of cause and effect is taught explicitly. For the Scratch project, students narrate the relationships and animate sprites in a tree connection circle. Students also  

Lesson 2.1: What is a system? 

Students will define what a system is and will recognize what is and isn't a system.

Lesson 2.2 All Parts Work Together

Students will identify parts and the relationships between the parts  in a chaparral ecosystem. 

Lesson 2.3: Distruptions in an Ecosystem

Students will 

  1. Explain how invasive species enter an ecosystem

  2. Explain how the invasive black mustard plant has affected the chaparrel ecosystem

  3. Share what people are doing to rescue ecosystems from invasive species

  4. Identify and report on an invasive species in their local community

Duration: 

Lesson 2.4: Demonstrating Interactions in Scratch

Students will explore the concept of parallelism. They will codbroadcast blocks and they will incorporate loops into their projects.

Duration: 

Lesson 2.5: Modeling an Ecosystem in Scratch

Students will build a model of an ecosystem in Scratch.

Duration:

Lesson 2.6: Reflect and Share

Students will share their reflections on their project and its process. They will listen and learn from the projects of their classmates. They will give specific feedback to their classmates. 

Duration:

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