It seems like every time a 3rd grade teacher asks me for an idea for a project, I suggest a Scratch project. I have gone a little Scratch happy, I guess.
Last month the students were learning about light and sound. Scratch is great with sounds, so I suggested they make a clickable drums and build a “band” in Scratch. I’ve looked through the Code Club’s Rock Band Project and am familiar with the song building ability in Scratch but I’ve never introduced these projects to a group of students.
The project I suggested uses the ideas from Code Club’s project but I didn’t handout any project pages. I set it up like this:
- pick a stage appropriate for a band
- add a drum Sprite and make it play a drum beat when clicked.
- add 2 more drum Sprites and make them clickable with different drum sounds
- add another instrument, or microphone and singer (make the clickable)
- add any final personalized touches to your Rock Band
I was able to walk the group through the first two steps during their first session. The class had other assignments in the computer lab during the next week or so but were able to get back to their Rock Band if they had time at the end. After the occasional chances to work on the project, it was time to have them finish up and “hand it in” virtually.
Here is the rubric I used.
(max 2 points)
|There is no Stage (0)||There is a Stage background (1)||There is an appropriate Stage background (2)|
(max 4 points)
|There are no Sprites (0)||There is at least one drum Sprite (1)||There are 3 or more drum or band Sprites
|There are at least 3 drum Sprites, a mic and singer or additional band instruments (4)|
(max 4 points)
|There are no clickable Sprites or no sounds (0)||At least one drum Sprite is clickable and makes a drum sound when clicked (2)||Most Sprites are clickable and make a sound when clicked (3)||Each Sprite is clickable and makes a different sound when clicked (4)|
Most of the students, if they lost points, only lost points on the Scripting. I included a picture of their rock band with the graded rubric.
This served its purpose in that it was fun, gave the students a reason to play with Scratch and fit in with their science curriculum. I think I would change the assignment some next time. There are many ways to use sound blocks and built-in sounds from the Scratch sound library. I also would like to see the students record their own sounds, their voice or an instrument.
The students used Scratch 1.4 for this project only because it is the Scratch icon on their desktop and they’d have to go and “look for” Scratch 2 in All programs. Scratch 2 would also work fine for this project.