What is Scratch?
Scratch is a website that allows users to create games and animations while introducing many basic concepts that are used often in programming, such as functions and loops. Scratch itself can also be considered a programming language. It’s especially fitted for beginners because it doesn’t focus much on syntax (coding grammar), but instead uses movable blocks which allows for easier understanding of how to code.
How to Start Using Scratch
First, go to the Scratch website (https://scratch.mit.edu/) and create an account. Creating an account is recommended as it allows users to save their projects. Next, press the “Create” button in the toolbar at the top of the screen to create a new project. There are many different projects that can be created, such as animations, clicking games, or designing characters, but for this example, we are going to be making a simple dancing animation.
Navigating the Interface
Refer to the image on the left. Here are some important terms to know:
Toolbar: The toolbar is used to manage the project. Here, the project can be saved, as well as restored to the last saved version. There are also many helpful tutorials that can be accessed using the toolbar.
Block Palette: The block palette contains the blocks needed to write code. There are many different types of blocks available for use, and each of them perform different functions.
Script Area: The script area is where users can drag and stack blocks together, which forms scripts. Running the script runs the program. This is what forms the basis of your project.
Blocks: Blocks are the pieces that make up the program. They can be stacked together and moved around to create a program.
Sprite: The sprite is an object in the program that follows instructions that the scripts give. The yellow cat is the default sprite that is given, but it is possible to add new sprites!
Sprites Pane: The sprites pane is where users can add, delete, or edit sprites.