A walk through our town
See the section on Pedagogy for an insight into the differences in approach undertaken by British and Czech teachers.
This is the Scheme of Work for a Year 3-7 class which we developed for ZS Korunovacni in Prague. Each pupil designs his or her own story independently.
This is the outline of the scheme:
Create a story in Scratch for children from other countries, especially for pupils of Bishop Ramsey C of E School, Ruislip in London, for example: a walk through the town where pupils live, accompanied by their pets; a sightseeing tour with a friend who comes from abroad; or a free story with an element of fantasy.
Develop language and literacy skills to tell stories in Czech (or English) in four different ways: in an oral form, in a written form as an essay, in a graphic form as a set of pictures hand made on a paper using pencils, and in a digital form as a computer program using Scratch.
- Design a set of pictures (comics) drawn on a paper using pencils.
- Design and change backgrounds.
- Design sprites in a digital format and set them in motion.
- Develop fundamental skills to program in Scratch.
- Be able to tell stories in four different ways.
- Be able to design and change backgrounds in Scratch.
- Be able to design and change sprites in Scratch.
- Be able to introduce speech bubbles in Scratch.
Phase 1: User skills development to use a computer in a compulsory subject of ICT education
Pupils learn to operate and work with a PC, to run standard computer programs, to save files into folders.
- Each pupil is able to switch on and off a computer, to run and close programs (including Scratch), to save data files on a server into appropriate folders.
Phase 2: Oral narrative of a story in Art Education and Czech/English Education
Pupils are introduced into Scratch not only in ICT Education, but also in Art Education. The Art Education teacher explains the idea of the project and starts to discuss with pupils themes for their stories. The teacher explains to pupils they will design their own sprites which will appear in their stories. Pupils try to tell stories in an oral form. The theme of a walk through the town where pupils live, accompanied by their pets seems to be very popular and suitable for pupils of Year 2 while the older pupils prefer stories in which they can apply and develop their creative fantasy.
- Each pupil is able to tell his/her own stories in an oral form.
Phase 3: Handmade drawing of stories on a paper in Art Education
Pupils draw their stories on paper work-sheets by hand, using pencils and crayons. Each story is divided into four stages (sequences) in which sprites are used, and which can move and discuss with each other. A dialogue is presented by speech “bubbles”.
Pupils draw not only four sequences of their stories, but also shapes of sprites which act in these stories with the aim of preparing all details of sprite shapes for their animation, and for setting them in motion.
- Each pupil draws on an A4 paper worksheet divided into four sections his/her story (see Fig. 1). Moreover, each pupil designs details of sprite shapes.
Fig. 1 A story designed on a paper worksheet into four frames (Year 5)
Phase 4: Written verbal story description (essay)
Pupils interpret their stories which they produced by hand on the paper worksheet.
On the other side of the paper worksheet they write in a written verbal form (essay) a storyline of their narrative. In this activity, pupils prove their ability to transfer a graphical record of their story into verbal form with the aim of explaining and interpreting what they designed on the paper worksheet (see Fig. 2). The essay plays an important role in the preparation of stories for programming in Scratch.
- Each pupil paraphrases in a verbal form (essay) four sequences of his/her story drawn on paper.
Fig. 2 Example of an essay (Year 5)
Phase 5: Introduction into three fundamental activities in Scratch
An ICT student teacher introduces pupils to examples of stories programmed in Scratch by children from London, at Bishop Ramsey C of E School, Ruislip with the aim of demonstrating fundamental elements and components which pupils have to learn in Scratch, to be able to transform their stories into a digital animated form programmed in Scratch.
In Scratch, the pupils learn:
- how to set in motion sprites with the aim, for example, to create the illusion of smooth walking, or flapping wings, or another mode of sprite movement,
- how present a talk between sprites using “bubbles”, and
- how to shift a storyline from one sequence to the next one.
- Each pupil understands how to use and apply a set of fundamental commands and tools in Scratch.
- Each pupil is able to put together commands of Scratch:
- to create an illusion of sprite movement,
- to describe a talk between sprites, and
- to shift a storyline from one sequence to next one.
Phase 6: Story programming in Scratch
Pupils transfer their scenarios of stories into Scratch programs using commands and another skills, knowledge and experience which they learnt in Phase 5.
Fig. 3 A story about extra-terrestrials on the planet Mars
- Each pupil transformed his or her story into a digital form, as a program in Scratch.