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Designing an Introductory Scratch Workshop

A guide to designing introductory Scratch learning experiences, emphasizing personalizing, sharing, and reflecting.

There's no one way to host a Scratch workshop.

Workshops can take on a variety of forms – different audiences, different lengths, different themes.

But we've found that workshop participants frequently have meaningful learning experiences when workshops are designed with certain key principles in mind. Participants should have opportunities to:

  • engage in design activities
  • pursue personal interests
  • interact through creative collaborations
  • reflect on experiences

This draft document describes different elements that could be part of an introductory Scratch workshop, including:

  • setting goals
  • meeting one another
  • introducing Scratch
  • creating projects
  • sharing experiences
  • preparing for next steps

I would appreciate hearing your thoughts and look forward to getting your feedback about this work-in-progress!

Other Files: 
Leo Burd
Dear Karen and team,

We would love to translate your awesome guide to Portuguese. Is there any way to access its source file?

Thanks in advance,

Karen Brennan
Definitely. It's an InDesign file, so I've sent it to you via email.

It would be great to share the Portuguese version when it's ready!

Kirsten Hansen
I'm getting a "page not found" error on the workshop guide link above. Is it no longer available?
ScratchEd Team
Hi Kirsten,

The pdf link has been updated and should be working now. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Michelle Chung, on behalf of the ScratchEd Team
Abdulaziz Al-Sharekh

 it's a very valuable resources and saving a lot of time for planning a scratch workshop. one comment is that i have struggled to identify the duration of the workshop. Workshop Design Guide has a lot of information but it didn't specify a duration of the workshop


from my research i figured out that it takes a 3 days 7 hours each days. so total of 21 hours. please advise if i'm mistaken, it would be good if we added an estimate duration for the workshop.

i'm planning to conduct multi-workshop and i'm planning to devide the audiance 

kids (10-12)


highschool & collage

also i'm thinking to do it 4 days a week for two weeks 3 hours per day.


please advise

Karen Brennan

Thanks for the kind feedback!

As for timing, there are two sample agendas on pages 12 and 13 -- one for an hour-long workshop and one for a 2.5 hour-long workshop. For most of the activities you can shrink or stretch them to fit varying lengths of time.

You might also be interested in -- which is a multi-day workshop we organized based on the workshop design guide.

Hope that helps,

Bruce Cichowlas

I'm considering doing a "Scratch Night" for the parents of my 2nd-5th graders.  Perhaps I'd limit the number in a session so we could hold it in the lab, which has ten computers.  Has anyone done anything like that?



Karen Brennan

We've done workshops with/for parents as part of Scratch Day, Scratcher meetups, and other outreach activities. It's always a lot of fun -- particularly getting the kids involved with the facilitation/teaching!

Cristián Rizzi

Hi Karen,

Great resource!!

I wonder why you suggest to showing workshop participants how to move/snap Scratch blocks before showing them some Scratch projects. In both workshops the "showing projects" activity comes after the how-to-move Scratch blocks.

If participants are Scratch-beginners, they would perceive no sense in seeing how to move/snap blocks together if they haven't seen any Scratch projects.

But because you are the Scracth expert, surely will have a reason for doing so.

Thanks a lot for sharing.


Karen Brennan

Hi Cristián,

Thanks so much for the feedback!

I've tried it both ways (before and after) -- and I think it can work either way.

When I show projects before, it's very inspiring (the wow! factor) and shows the range of what's possible to create with Scratch, but it can also inappropriately set expectations for what people can do in a short workshop.

It's a great issue to raise and I think it should be added as a discussion topic in the guide. Also, I could add another sample workshop plan that shows the other order.

Thanks again,


Michelle Russell

This is a great resource!  I am co-presenting a Scratch 2.5 hr. workshop in Illinois at the end of Febraury.  Can we link to your resources on our presentation and/or use some of your information in our handouts?  Thanks again!

Michelle Russell


Karen Brennan

Definitely. Feel free to use/remix as much (or as little) as you like!


Ai Boon Tan

Hi Karen,

I really find the stuff you share so useful.  I have an idea for you.  Since we love to share our ideas, how about creating a wikipedia-like Scratch text book on Starting to Scratch Projects?

Chapter One: What is Scratch?

Chapter Two: Basic blocks to start with

Chapter Three: Best samples for specific projects

Chapter Four: Our Favourite Projects and Galleries

Chapter Five: Troubleshooting common problems

and so on. 

I know that you have a Forum but I don't know why I find it so hard to search for the solutions in your forum so if you have a central place like this where we can post our experiences, perhaps it will be easier to look for resources.  It will also be good to have a chapter on books we can refer to.

I love ScratchEd because it is such a great resource for me.  I am now trying to design a curriculum for Basic introduction to Scratch. Thanks so much for your input.

Best regards,

Ai Boon



Karen Brennan

The wiki-text sounds like an interesting project. Good luck with the curriculum design -- I'd love to see it as it comes together!

Kathleen Nann

This is a great resource, Karen. I have some teachers that are interested in learning how to use Scratch and this document has just given me a big head start! Thank you!

Karen Brennan

Oh, I'm happy to hear that! Please let me know how it goes and what suggestions for changes, additions, removals you have.