Following on from last week, Kerry, Lindsay and I worked together to produce a unit of work using Scratch. The unit of work is aimed at Year 6 children, as their final ICT project before moving to secondary school.
Overall unit objective: We are learning to create an animated game.
Part 1: Testing games
In the first activity the children are to work in mixed ability pairs to play a range of games from the sqowrl set. They are to add words about what makes a good game to the class answer garden. Children can all work on the class answer garden at the same time, with the words presented updating in real time. If a child likes someone else’s word they can click on it and then re-submit it. This makes the word bigger, showing that more people agree with this opinion.
The answer garden can be turned into a word cloud (the one in this blog post was made in wordle). The class can discuss the different words that they have come up with together to ascertain what the most important ingredients of a video game are.
Part 2: Fish tank game
Discuss as a class how video games are created.
Introduce the children to Scratch. Go through how to create a simple fish tank game. Get the children to work in friendship pairs. Provide the children with the online video demo of the game, so that they can refer to it when making it in their pairs.
When the children have created their fish tank game they can upload it to the Scratch website and to a class sqworl link (containing the games made by the different pairs). They can then select different scratch card activities to help them further explore the potential of Scratch.
Part 3: The Dragons’ Den
Show the children the Morfo video of Duncan Bannatyne setting the challenge for the children by clicking on this link: The Dragon’s Task. When creating Duncan Bannatyne’s speech we used the voice changer built into the app to make his voice have a lower pitch (to disguise our own); however on reflection this can make it difficult to ascertain what is being said. It would be great if future versions of the app had different degrees of voice changing, so that the low-pitch wasn’t too low and the hi-pitch wasn’t too squeaky.
Generate success criteria for computer games with the children using Spicynodes. The children could have a baseline target for how many of the different elements to include in their games, for example 3. Here’s an example of a success criteria we created earlier:
Part 4: Making games
Children work in friendship pairs to create their games. They use wallwisher as a working wall to document their ideas and queries. We liked the idea of this in principle, but we found that in practise it was clunky and we’d prefer to have it for refernce at all times – not just in ICT.
Part 5: Poll rating
In the final stage of the unit of work the children present the work to a panel of Dragons. This can be supported with a poll on the class blog for children to vote for their favourite game.