Scratch 1.4: Beginner’s Guide

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Table of Contents
Sample Chapters
  • Create interactive stories, games, and multimedia projects that you can reuse in your own classroom
  • Learn computer programming basics – no computer science degree required
  • Connect with the Scratch community for inspiration, advice, and collaboration
  • Provides hands-on projects that help you learn by experiment and play

Book Details

Language : English
Paperback : 264 pages [ 235mm x 191mm ]
Release Date : July 2009
ISBN : 1847196764
ISBN 13 : 9781847196767
Author(s) : Michael Badger
Topics and Technologies : All Books, Other, Beginner's Guides, e-Learning, Games, Open Source


Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Welcome to Scratch!
Chapter 2: Installation
Chapter 3: Start Scratching
Chapter 4: Graphics and Slideshows
Chapter 5: Storytelling
Chapter 6: Arcade Games
Chapter 7: Games of Fortune
Chapter 8: Math and Finance
Chapter 9: Share!
Chapter 10: PicoBoard
Appendix: Scratch Resources
  • Chapter 1: Welcome to Scratch!
    • What is Scratch?
      • 21st century learning skills
      • How to use Scratch
    • Programming concepts
      • Programming limitations
    • Scratch anatomy
      • Building blocks
      • Write the script
      • Watch the story
      • Built-in image editor
      • Interface promotes tinkering
    • Learning Scratch
      • Welcome to Scratch!—Chapter 1
      • Installation—Chapter 2
      • Start Scratching—Chapter 3
      • Graphics and Slideshows—Chapter 4
      • Storytelling—Chapter 5
      • Arcade Games—Chapter 6
      • Games of Fortune—Chapter 7
      • Math and Finance—Chapter 8
      • Share!—Chapter 9
      • PicoBoard—Chapter 10
    • Summary
  • Chapter 2: Installation
    • Install Scratch
      • Windows
        • Run Scratch from flash drive
        • Integrate Scratch with the suite
      • Installation on Macintosh
        • Run Scratch on USB flash drive
      • Installation on Linux
        • Troubleshooting
        • Limitations
        • WINE and Scratch
    • Confirm Java install
    • Redistribute Scratch freely
      • Source code license
      • Share alike
    • Summary
  • Chapter 3: Start Scratching
    • The interface at a glance
      • Time for action – first step
      • Basics of a Scratch project
      • We're all actors on Scratch's stage
      • Time for action – save your work
    • Set the cat in motion
      • Time for action – a big step
      • Coordinating a sprite's location
      • Double-click control
      • Time for action – in motion forever
        • Loops play it again
      • Time for action – get out of the corner
        • Undo an action
    • Add sprites to the stage
      • Get new sprites
      • Time for action – spin sprite spin
    • Sometimes we need inspiration
      • Browse Scratch's projects
      • Time for action – spinner
        • Costume versus background
      • Time for action – broadcast a message
        • Broadcast messages coordinate sprites
    • Browse the Scratch community
      • Time for action – create an account
      • Abide by the terms of use
      • Time for action – download a project
      • Creative Commons
    • Summary
  • Chapter 4: Graphics and Slideshows
    • Happy birthday wishes
      • Time for action – paint a happy birthday sprite
      • Interface design
      • Set the stage
      • Time for action – paint the stage
      • Adding gradients
      • Sprite costumes
      • Time for action – address the card
        • Working with sprites
      • Animating the card
      • Time for action – hide all sprites
      • Time for action – display happy birthday
      • Sprite names
      • Time for action – roll call
        • Choose appropriate names
      • Graphical transformations
      • Time for action – give me an "M"
        • Loop with repeat
        • Incremental improvements
      • Time for action – give me another "M"
      • Time for action – set first M straight
        • Beware of gaudiness
      • Time for action – give mom flowers
        • Ghosting an image
      • Parallel execution
      • Next steps
    • Build a photo slideshow
      • Time for action – insert a title screen
      • Time for action – import photos from disk
        • Image formats
      • Working with images
        • Resize images
        • How to measure images
      • Time for action – flip through the photos
      • Building audience participation
      • Time for action – present your show
      • Next steps
    • Summary
  • Chapter 5: Storytelling
    • Barnyard humor
      • Table of contents
      • Time for action – create TOC
      • Add pages to our book
      • Time for action – add new pages
      • Hide that sprite
      • Time for action – hide the sprites
      • Introducing the horse
      • Time for action – import the horse
      • Costumes versus sprites
      • The horse speaks
      • Time for action – the horse talks
        • Synchronize the action
      • Time for action – revise the horse talks exercise
      • Sound
      • Time for action – a horse whinnies
        • Sound formats
      • The dog enters
      • Time for action – bring out the dog
      • X and Y coordinates mark the spot
      • Time for action – stay dog
        • Position on the grid
      • Pointed in the right direction
      • Time for action – turn to the left
        • Degrees of direction
      • Sound effects
      • Time for action – hit the cymbals
        • Select an instrument
      • Time for action – applause, please
        • Play a note
      • Piece the dog scene together
      • Time for action – joke, please
      • Control the story
      • Time for action – hide TOC
      • Time for action – enter dog
      • Time for action – exit dog
      • Time for action – show TOC
        • Build sequence
      • Next steps
    • Summary
  • Chapter 6: Arcade Games
    • Troll pong
      • Time for action – pen the sample pong project
      • Dynamic interaction
      • Variables
      • Time for action – change direction
      • Time for action – remove the random turn
      • Customize the sprites
      • Time for action – beach ball pong
      • Time for action – add new paddle controls
      • Play theme music, forever
      • Time for action – add background music
        • Do something, forever
        • Working with sound
      • Forever, on one condition
      • Time for action – paddle meets ball
        • Start single stepping
        • Conditional statements
      • What's the score?
      • Time for action – add a score variable
        • For all sprites
        • For this sprite only
      • Time for action – count the paddle's steps
        • Global versus local variables
      • Add a second level
      • Time for action – reach for a new level
        • Comparisons
        • Troubleshooting
      • Time for action – fix the script
        • Using Boolean logic
      • Add levels
      • Time for action – count the levels
      • Time for action – enter project notes
      • Next steps
    • Summary
  • Chapter 7: Games of Fortune
    • Fortune-Teller
      • Time for action – create a list of questions
      • Work with an item in a list
      • Import a list
      • Time for action – import a list of fortunes
        • Reasons to import
        • Export a list
      • Your fortune is …
      • Time for action – tell me a fortune
      • Time for action – force a positive fortune
        • Counters
        • Keep track of intervals with mod
        • If/Else
      • Repeat the fortune
      • Time for action – my fortune is what?
        • Holding text in a variable
      • Text entry limitations
      • Next steps
    • Summary
  • Chapter 8: Math and Finance
    • Double it or lump sum?
      • Double it
      • Time for action – calculate the double amount
      • Time for action – set user-defined variables
        • Start single stepping
      • Time for action – slow it down
      • Graph the values
      • Time for action – set the graph’s origin
      • Time for action – draw a graph
        • Mathematical functions
        • Create patterns with stamp
      • Connect the dots
      • Time for action – connect the dots
      • Time for action – fix the graph
        • Follow a sprite with the go to block
        • Draw with the pen tool
      • Time for action – draw the x and y axis of the grid
        • Label the newAmount value
      • Time for action – label newAmount
      • Find the interest earned on a lump sum
      • Time for action – calculate interest on lump sum
        • Round to nearest whole number
    • Next steps
    • Summary
  • Chapter 9: Share!
    • Share with the Scratch community
      • Reduce file size
      • Time for action – compress media files
      • Share!
      • Time for action – share!
        • Tag it
        • Update a project
      • Trouble?
        • Firefox display problems
        • Variables change positions
      • Link to your project
        • Embed in a blog post
        • Embed an applet or an image?
      • Share via social networks
      • Subscribe to projects via RSS
        • How to subscribe
    • Host your Scratch projects
      • Install files to a web server
      • Time for action – install files on a web server
        • Limitations of self-hosting
    • Summary
  • Chapter 10: PicoBoard
    • PicoBoard—what is it?
      • Order a PicoBoard
    • Install the PicoBoard
      • Connect the PicoBoard
    • Capture sound input
      • Time for action – switch backgrounds on sound
        • Sound as a numeric value
      • Time for action – use sound to change the sprite's looks
    • Click for the next slide
      • Time for action – click for the next slide
        • True or false values
      • Time for action – wait until button not pressed
    • Step into the light, please
      • Time for action
      • Using light to detect motion
    • Control motion with the slider
      • Time for action – slide sensor
      • Using gravity
    • Create circuits
      • Time for action – complete the circuit
      • Wiring our projects
      • Measure electrical resistance
      • Time for action – measure resistance
        • Using resistance
    • Watch all sensor values
    • Summary

Michael Badger

Michael Badgeris a writer and technical communicator who has worked in a range of technical roles, including support, automated software testing, and project management. He has authored several books for Packt Publishing, including Scratch 1.4 Beginner's Guide. He also authors a regular Scratch column for Raspberry Pi Geek Magazine, which focuses on Scratch 1.4.

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Sample chapters

You can view our sample chapters and prefaces of this title on PacktLib or download sample chapters in PDF format.

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What you will learn from this book

  • Design user interfaces, including sequence, characters, and controls.
  • Think critically and make decisions – based on need, program limitations and knowledge level.
  • Get to know the concepts of scratch programming such as loops, conditional statements, variables, arrays, Boolean logic, dynamic interaction, coordination, synchronization, threads, and event handling, and apply it later to other programming languages.
  • Develop a barnyard humor that let's you shine as a storyteller.
  • Debug problems in your design and code.
  • Revise your projects to fix problems and add functionality.
  • Collaborate with the Scratch community by remixing and sharing projects so that you can learn from each other.
  • Communicate with peers and students about the details of your projects.
  • Capture sound, light, touch, and resistance via an external PicoBoard and use it as input for your Scratch projects.

Chapter 1 Introduction to Scratch – This chapter provides an overview of Scratch, its features, and how it can help you teach 21st century learning skills to your children and students.

Chapter 2 Install Scratch – In this chapter, we look at the installation procedure on each operating system and even learn how to run Scratch from your USB flash drive. We also make sure your web browser can view Java applets, which is the technology Scratch uses to publish projects on the Web.

Chapter 3 Start Scratching – In this chapter, we will explore the Scratch interface and create some simple scripts that demonstrate how easily we can build a project. This is a high-speed tour of Scratch that gets us tinkering and thinking about what's possible.

Chapter 4 Graphics and Slideshows – In this chapter, we will create an animated birthday card and a slideshow of our favorite photos.

Chapter 5 Language and Text – In this chapter, we horse around and develop a barnyard joke book that lets us narrate multiple scenes. There's no need to hold the applause.

Chapter 6 Arcade Games – In this chapter, we take a classic pong game and give it a little personality by adding a troll, switching levels, and keeping score.

Chapter 7 Games of Fortune – In this chapter, we combine what we know about variables with lists, also known as arrays. We use the lists to store information about our fortunes, and use random numbers to retrieve the data.

Chapter 8 Math and Finance – In this chapter, we use mathematical formulas and graphs to help answer the question, "Would you rather have a dollar that doubles every day or a lump sum of money?" The answer may surprise you.

Chapter 9 Share your Work – In this chapter, share your project with the Scratch community and learn how to promote it to you friends and fans.

Chapter 10 Connect a PicoBoard – In this chapter, the PicoBoard connects an external sensor board to our computer and delivers real-world stimuli as input to Scratch projects.

Appendix A Scratch Resources – This Appendix provides a select list of Scratch resources on the Web.

In Detail

If you have the imaginative power to design complex multimedia projects but can't adapt to programming languages, then Scratch 1.4: Beginner's Guide is the book for you. Imagine how good you'll feel when you drag-and-drop your way to interactive games, stories, graphic artwork, computer animations, and much more using Scratch even if you have never programmed before.

This book provides teachers, parents, and new programmers with a guided tour of Scratch's features by creating projects that can be shared, remixed, and improved upon in your own lesson plans. Soon you will be creating games, stories, and animations by snapping blocks of "code" together.

When you program you solve problems. In order to solve problems, you think, take action, and reflect upon your efforts. Scratch teaches you to program using a fun, accessible environment that's as easy as dragging and dropping blocks from one part of the screen to another.

In this book you will program games, stories, and animations using hands-on examples that get you thinking and tinkering. For each project, you start with a series of steps to build something. Then you pause to put our actions into context so that you can relate our code to the actions on Scratch's stage. Throughout each chapter, you'll encounter challenges that encourage you to experiment and learn.

One of the things you're really going to love is that, as you begin working through the examples in the book, you won't be able to stop your imagination and the ideas will stream as fast as you can think of them. Write them down. You'll quickly realize there are a lot of young minds in your home, classroom, or community group that could benefit from Scratch's friendly face. Teach them, please.

This hands-on tutorial teaches you the basics of computer programming using Scratch, a drag-and-drop language, so you can teach your students how to think and create digitally


This is a Packt Beginners Guide, which means it focuses on practical examples and has a friendly approach, with the opportunity to learn by experiment and play. We work through the project tutorials one block of code at a time, and we periodically pause to reflect on the relationship between our code blocks, our project, and Scratch programming in general. As you work through the book, you are encouraged to experiment with the concepts presented. As each chapter in the book progresses, the topics get increasingly more complex.

Who this book is for

Scratch is a teaching language, so it's ideal for people who want to learn how to program or teach others how to program. Educators and parents will learn how to program using Scratch, so they can use Scratch to teach the latest learning skills to their students and children.

No previous computer programming knowledge is required. You only need to know how to perform basic tasks on a computer and this book will teach the rest. You can then use it as a platform to learn more advanced programming languages.

Parents, stuck with a child who wants to play video games all night? Make a new rule. He can only play a video game if he programs the game first.

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