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Scratch Language and Terms for a course for middle school aged children

« Teaching with Scratch
2 replies [Last post]
Tiffany Navarro


I'm writing a video game design course for middle school aged children.  The course will be broken up into three sections and logically they will be: Introduction to Programming & Video Game Design, Video Game Design I and Video Game Design II.

The goal of the course is to teach the children to feel comfortable using technology, to have fun while problem solving with technology and to be expressive and creative with technology.

In the Introduction part of the course the children will learn about the various terms used when programming and how to use Scratch.  My questions are as follows:

1.  Is coding or programming the best way to describe what they do with Scratch?  What is more commonly used?  Or more importantly what term is a better explanation of what they are doing?

2.  What should I tell the students they are called?  For example: Video Game Designers, Programmers, Developers.  Which description is the most appropirate for what they will be doing?

3.  What is the best way to describe Scratch?  I know in the Scratch videos created by Scratch it is referred to as a programming language.  Is it correct to always refer to it as the Scratch programming languge?  Is fine to say, " Today you will learn how to use the Scratch program"?

I taught with Scratch in the past but that course was a summer camp and there wasn't enough time to cover too much. The program I'm developing now is longer and much more involved in the terms and goes into the many types of projects that can be created with Scratch (the first projects will be animated stories and interactive art).

Thank you for any advice you can give!







i have a funny story that might answer you.

i got the idea to teach scratch in primary school in tunisia(the first experience i think) so I asked to do it in a club. i got 4th degree student. first i asked them: what do you usually do with computer? they answered: painting writing internet and car games. i asked: who make this kind of programs including car games? they sayed: scientist!

I sayed okey and we started our car game step by step. after doing it, i asked them:remember me who make car games? they sayed scientist. what is the thing that you did. they answered: a car game. i aske: so you are?????

they ansewered all excited: scientist!!!!!!!!

i love so much that moment... it is a special pleasure to see that your students feel like scientist!

Michelle Choi

Hi Tiffany,

It's exciting to hear about your new video game course. Have you thought of calling it "Creative Computing"? You might also be interested in checking out the Creative Computing curriculum, if you haven't already. -

I also like the word "designer" or "creator". :)

Would love to hear how it goes!