Creating Art with Code

This half term I’ve been planning a unit of work to introduce my Year 3 kids to Scratch. I also wanted something that would fill one of my display boards with lots of colour. I came up with some simple Scratch projects that create code generated art. Together they use a mix of coding techniques and skills that the children can tinker and play with. I’ve also create a Scratch Studio where you can view and play with all the projects below!

Spirographs

Start off nice and simple. This one is the standard go-to for introducing Scratch. Creating Spirograph inspired images using repeating patterns of shapes. It’s a great activity to teach angles in shapes, as well as introducing the Repeat block to the children. The concept of sides and angles in a shape multiplaying to make 360 can be tricky, but it’s really useful in future projects. Add a colour changing block to make them beautiful too!

Random Dots

I really REALLY like this one. The coding is a bit tricky, but the results are beautiful. It’s a great project for introducing both Variables and Random numbers. One small sprite, that creates 100 clones of itself on the screen. Each clone chooses a random position on both the X and Y axis, a random size, and changes colour every time. This one is really good for tinkering with the values to see instant results. The children can really play and produce some interesting art with this one!

Rainbow Wheel

So, so, so pretty!! Hit the space bar and and it creates a rainbow wheel of colour. 120 lines bursting out from the centre of the screen. Each line created is a different length, width and colour. It’s a really nice project to talk about how you can set and change colours, as well the size of the stage. While every line is a different length, the children need to make sure the lines are all inside the screen! Plus, it looks really cool when you hit the space bar and watch the animation create your design! Instant visual feedback that inspires tinkering in the children.

Symmetrical Pattern Maker

This one was inspired by Rangoli patterns and is fun for the kids to play with. You control a dot in the middle of the screen, that leaves a trail of colour behind it. The trail is cloned 8 times on the screen to create a symmetrical pattern. This project is really useful for introducing movement controlled by the arrow keys. Once they’ve mastered that then they can apply that in a million other projects. They also look amazing printed out to decorate your classroom with!

Stamping Iterations

This is my absolute favourite for letting the children tinker and play to generate different outcomes. The coding is relatively simple, but the prints it creates have endless possibilities when the children play with the code. The children create a random ‘blob of colour, and the program stamps the shape over and over in a spiral pattern. Add a block to change the colour and size and it makes beautiful patterns. They really enjoyed making this one, and continued to tinker and play by changing the shape of the colour ‘blob’ as well as the code.

I hope you have a go at these projects, and enjoy making amazing art projects with your pupils. Make sure to share what you create!

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