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1. Introduction to Characterization and Broadcast


Hey computer scientists –welcome to Day 5 of CS First Storytelling.

Today you will create a story using characterization. In storytelling, “characterization” gives important details about the personality, background, and motivations of a character to let the audience get to know him or her better. To give the audience more details about a character, authors use 5 main elements: dialogue, thoughts, actions, appearance, and effect on others. Check out how these elements are used in projects created by other CS First students. By adding details about what a character says and thinks, what he or she looks like, and how he or she interacts with others, authors reveal a character’s personality. This helps the audience feel more connected with both the character and the story.

To create your characterization story, you’ll begin with a starter project. This project has two main sprites - a narrator sprite that tells the story and a main character sprite.

The narrator will tell the story by talking about the main character's feelings or actions.The main character will act out the story by changing its actions and appearance, depending on what the narrator says. For the main character to know what the narrator is saying so it can act out the story, you need to instruct the computer to “broadcast,” or send a message, that tells the main character sprite to react to the narrator.

In a previous project, you used the “say” block to create dialogue. The “say” block lets the audience read what sprites say to each other. But, the sprites can’t read what’s in the “say” block. To communicate, sprites need information broadcast to them.

When you receive the message from a weather reporter that it might rain, you react by packing your umbrella. The “broadcast” block does the same thing--it sends a message that makes the part of the program that receives the message react in a specific way.

The starter project already contains the main character’s reactions to messages that the narrator will broadcast. You will choose when to broadcast them.

To get started: Choose one of the starter projects, click “remix,” and sign in to Scratch. Then, return to CS First to watch the next video and learn how to broadcast an action to your main character.

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  1. Select a starter project.
  2. Remix the project.
  3. Sign in to Scratch.