Materials by Teachers in English - Primary
Mrs Monkey (Sara Darwish)
- Mrs Monkey (1.4MB)
I have created an interactive Maths game for Key Stage 1 children to both use and create. Mrs Monkey is an interactive game which I have created with the aim of making Maths fun. Mrs Monkey asks Maths questions. If the children get a question right they get to see Mrs Monkey’s dance and they score a point, if the question is wrong the children will have several chances to get the question right however they will neither score a point nor will they get to see Mrs Monkeys dance.
This game can be used for the children to play as a Maths starter, once they have had several goes at playing the game, they will be informed that Mrs Monkey is lonely and has several friends and family around the world which she hasn’t seen in a while.
The children are asked to:
1. Decide whether they would like to create one of Mrs Monkey’s children or friends and create a Background first on paper and then a Sprite. (Art lesson).
2. Children will draft out their own Maths questions to ask, using addition or subtraction or both, depending on their ability. (Maths lesson).
3. Introductory lesson about Scratch, informing the children what a Sprite is what a Costume is and talk about the ‘Looks’ tab so that children are aware of how to allow their Sprite to speak by introducing themselves.
4. Once the children have allowed their sprite to introduce themselves, introduce the ‘Sensing’ and ‘Control’ tab, where they can explore how their sprite can ask their Maths questions. (2 lessons)
5. Introduce the Sound and Costume tab and allow children to record voices with a microphone for their Sprites. What happens when they answer a question right? Does their Sprite sing? Does their Sprite dance?
6. Introduce the ‘Variables’ tab and show the class how to set a score to their game.
7. Replay their game and show the class.
8. During the MFL lesson, ask the children to translate what their sprite is saying. Can they introduce their Sprite in another language? Can they say well done?
What went well?
As this project is aimed for Key Stage 1, I believe that I have successfully managed to create a fun yet simple cross-curricular interactive game. This game is simple in the sense that it only involves using 1 sprite, 1 stage and 1 voice recording. However depending on the children’s ability they can always use/add more of each.
What did I find challenging?
The first challenge I faced was when I was creating my Sprite. I had two options I could either create it using Paint or using the Script painter. As I am new to scratch and more confident with paint I decided to use Paint and this is when the problems arose.
I had created a background (stage) also using sprite however it wasn’t visible as the white around my Script covered my background. The only way I could see was to edit and rub around my Monkey Sprite which would take me ages. I was adamant to find a more efficient less time consuming method, which eventually I did however I probably saved myself 10 minutes. I ended up colouring the background of the sprite green (the same colour as the stage background), however I still had to delete around it as much as possible. Therefore my advice would be to not use paint and to draw straight onto Scratch.
The second challenge I faced was that I wanted to present my interactive game in another language and add a voice over, however because of timing issues and not knowing how long the child would take to type the answer I wouldn’t know when to start the recording. Another issue I faced was that I already had a voice recording further down so the two sounds would have overlapped.
What did I learn?
From having never of heard of scratch to producing an interactive game there is a long list of things I have learnt and all the hard way!
This game can easily be adapted to a higher Key Stage by:
- selecting a harder range of questions
- creating more sprites
- creating more Backgrounds
- Creating a sound over in another language by translating the written English on their game.
Notes from the Course Tutor
These files are for use in the classroom. They can, of course, be adapted by teachers, with further resources, such as Sprites or Backgrounds, added by pupils.
I have included all the work of my teaching group here. There are many wonderful teaching ideas, and if we did not solve every coding problem effectively (none of us is an expert in Computing, including me!), the creativity of these young teachers more than makes up for it.
The teaching programme covered 30 hours of work at the computer, so if you start with one session of 60 minutes per week, you will become as proficient as they have been well before the end of your teaching year!
The key to success is to work with a partner, share ideas, and problem-solve together.