This weekend I’ve had a fabulous time at the Scratch Europe Conference in Cambridge, UK. It’s been an amazing experience. From the people I’ve seen, to the new and inventive ideas I’ve seen for using Scratch in the classroom. The mix of educators from all over the world made for an exciting and vibrant event that I’ll remember for a long time.
I was lucky enough to have been selected to run a workshop at the event. I chose to do a session using my Makey Makey boards. I wanted to share my love for them, and hoped to inspire some people to use them with the new extensions on Scratch 3. My love for the Makey board comes in two aspects. First is reliability. You plug it in and it just works every time! Secondly the coding is the afterthought. The focus is always about the creativity of the child, and how they can create the amazing ideas they have in their heads!
The workshop went really well, with the whole group engaged in the activity. We left the room in a bit of a mess, so I’m sorry to the presenter who was in there after me! Everyone was so engrossed I’m pretty sure I could have nipped out for a coffee and no one would have noticed. It was tricky getting the attendees to leave the room at the end of the session too!
The idea behind the session was using the Makey to create a short four page storybook that interacts with a program on Scratch. On each page of your story you add a little copper tape strip along side your image and writing. Then to each strip you add a crocodile clip that connects to the Makey Makey. As you read through your short story, pressing the copper tape buttons, the sounds or animations will play on the screen. It creates a mix of sound effects and augmented reality animations(sort of!!).
My inspiration came from the old push and play noisy books every 90’s kids is familiar with! The modern day version of tractor, robot beeps and animal sound effects.
It’s an activity that works so well because of it’s simplicity. The children in your classrooms can create a 4 pages story about ANYTHING, and then create ANYTHING on Scratch to play along with it. It goes back to what Scratch and Makey Makey are all about, your only limitation should be your imagination.
My slideshow and files I’ve used for this project are below. It runs like a step-by-step guide, so would work great printed out on worksheets for your students to follow independently.