Skip to Content

A pedagogical thought about Sprites and direction

« How do I...?
5 replies [Last post]
Anders Berggren

Today I started to think about a Scratchsession for the next week. Easy ways to learn and so on... But then I came across this little confusing topic with a Sprite and it´s directions... I mean I understand it, but...


I draw naturally a Sprite with direction pointing upwards (my little bug). But when I use direction in my script the direction must be 90. Isn´t it more natural to think 0 was pointing upwards.

No big deal, but when you explane to the children, when they are going to move this little bug and face the bug to the right, and left and so on... it starts to be a little bit confusing.


If the bug is going up direction is 90 (right), and if it´s down -90 (left)...

Maybe I am missing something obvious...

And the Snow we got yesterday... is melting, raining today. So it might be natural with up to the right and down to the left... ;)

Have a nice weekend,


susan evans


Yes, "Scratch puts a value of zero at the 90 degree mark/angle of/on a protractor?". Also, welcome to Scratch!

Allen Berg

Greetings from a one hour newbie...


I am starting "from Scratch" literally and technologically...

and just began following your discussion which is a great lesson for me... thank you very much...


So let me see if I understand what you all are saying here:

I love geometry by the way... :-) and at this very moment I am looking at a student protractor

(I still draw with a pencil and paint on canvas...) 

The protractor, based similarly to the X and Y axes of traditional Graphs in Math, puts zero degrees

at 9 o'clock, 90 degrees at 12 o'clock and 180 degrees at 3 o'clock...


So what you all are saying is that Scratch puts a value of zero at the 90 degree mark/angle of/on a protractor? terms of Movement/Motion direction of the Sprite...?


That is plenty for me to ask right now... and appreciate any reply/confirmation of my "description"/"analysis" of what you are saying...


Thanks, it is an honor and pleasure to be here, to learn this stuff...



susan evans

Right, so no matter what the image looks like .. the initial position of it is set to 90. To help with confusing students I guess I would suggest always drawing their sprites to face right.


I don't think this is a bug -- I think this is how Scratch intended it, but I sure don't like it.

Anders Berggren

Yes, you are totally right. It might be something about western world of thinking. Everything (text) from left to right. I understand and accept 0 as being up (the circle starts from 0 up). But when I make a Sprite it´s not that easy... So is it a bug or something I really don´t understand.

susan evans

Yah, I don't like how the directions were implemented at all.

According to Scratch


90 is right

-90 is left

180 is down

0 is up


but I don't quite understand why that makes sense or why it was choosen that way. It is like the whole system was rotated 90 degress to the left