Activity 1 : Adventure on the High Seas

Example Project Solution Sheet

Overview

In this activity, students animate an ocean wave to create a setting, then tell a story that takes place on the high seas. This activity introduces students to computer science and the programming language Scratch. It is appropriate for students ages 8-13 and takes 40-75 minutes to run. To use this activity for more than one class, create a club so students can save their Scratch projects (www.cs-first.com/start-club). When returning to the activity, students should go to www.cs-first.com/highseas and navigate to the last video they watched.

Volunteer Focus

  • Ensure that students have a positive experience and successfully create a program.
  • Encourage students to persevere through difficult problems and reflect on those challenges at the end of the activity.

Agenda Summary

Time (mins) Agenda Item
4 Activity Introduction
2 Transition to Computers
7 Video 1: High Seas Introduction
7 Video 2: Create a Scratch Account and Sign In
12 Video 3: Animate a Wave
10 Video 4: Smooth Wave
10 Video 5: Tell a Story
0 Activity Add-Ons
5 Activity Wrap-Up
3 Conclusion

Topics Introduced

  • Sequencing
  • Loops
In video two of this activity, students are instructed to create an account on the Scratch website. Students must provide an email address to create an account. Alternatively, create a club at csfirst.withgoogle.com/start-club in order to provide all students with usernames and passwords. Having an account is optional, but will enable students to save their work.
Activity Introduction (4 minutes)
Directions Student Instructions
  1. If the students don't know you, introduce yourself.
    (Show script)

    [example] Welcome to CS First! I am Mr. Smith, and I am leading this activity. I teach eighth grade math, and in my free time I like to read.

  2. Introduce and define Computer Science.
    (Show script)

    This is a sample activity for the computer science club CS First. Raise your hand if you can tell me what computer science is. [possible responses: programming, coding, creating things with a computer, solving problems.] One way to define computer science is the process of creating programs and solving problems using a computer.

  3. Introduce the sample activity. [If possible, project the example project linked at the top of the document].
    (Show script)

    In this activity you're going to build an animated story. First, you'll animate ocean waves with a sequence of instructions for the computer, then, you'll use that animation to create a story with dialogue. To do all this, you'll watch instructional videos on the CS First website, and you'll code your project on the Scratch website.

  4. Describe the programming environment Scratch.
    (Show script)

    When you program, or code, you provide instructions for the computer to follow. Today, you'll use the programming language Scratch. Many programmers write code in text, meaning that they type it out on the keyboard. With the Scratch language, you code using blocks that snap together like puzzle pieces.

CS First is a computer science club. Computer science is the process of creating programs and solving problems using a computer.
Transition to Computers (2 minutes)
Directions Student Instructions
To start with a CS First club:
  1. Tell students how to join your club using the code from your dashboard. For instructions that include images, view the solution sheet linked at the top of this page.
  2. (Show script)

    To start, join our club using our club code. Go to www.cs-first.com/go. Then select "enter club code." Enter our club code, and select yes to receive a username and password. Write down your username and password so you can sign into Scratch and save your work. After receiving your username and signing in, watch the first video. Each video that you watch will provide instructions that describe how to complete this activity

  3. Check for questions.
  4. (Show script)

    Are there any questions before we begin?

  5. Release students to work.
  6. (Show script)

    You may begin. Please ask your neighbors if you have a question!

To start without a CS First club:
  1. Tell students how to get to the activity and how to navigate the CS First website.
  2. (Show script)

    To start this activity, open a web browser, and go to www.cs-first.com/highseas. There you'll find videos that will guide you through creating your own animated story. Once there, plug in your headphones, and begin watching the first video. After watching each video, complete the steps described. Then, click the green arrow below the video to move on to the next step. After the second video, open the website Scratch, where you'll create your program.

  3. Check for questions.
  4. (Show script)

    Are there any questions before we begin?

  5. Release students to work.
  6. (Show script)

    You may begin. Please ask your neighbors if you have a question!

Follow your teachers instructions to get started.
Video 1: High Seas Introduction (7 minutes)
Directions Student Instructions
Immediately after asking students to begin watching the first video:
  • Answer questions promptly so students can get started on the activity.
  • Go to a place in the room from which you can see all the monitors. Ensure that all students are watching the first video. Look for students who are either not on the CS First site or who are watching the wrong video. Politely and privately redirect them to the correct video.
Watch this screencast to learn about CS First and the project you'll build today. Then click the green arrow to move on to the next video.
Video 2: Create a Scratch Account and Sign In (7 minutes)
Directions Student Instructions
  • If students are not creating an account during this step, encourage them to click the Scratch project link, then return to CS First and move on. After this step, all students should have two browser tabs open: one for CS First and one for Scratch.
  • Encourage students who are creating accounts to write down their usernames and passwords legibly, so they may return to their saved work.
  1. Click the starter project link next to this video.
  2. Then, if you’d like to save your project, click remix, and create a Scratch account.
Video 3: Animate a Wave (12 minutes)
Directions Student Instructions
  • Walk around, and ensure that all students have two browser tabs open. If a student has not opened the starter project, instruct them to return to the second video and click the link. After this video, students should be working in Scratch after each video.
  • During this step, students are adding code blocks for the first time. Walk around and ensure that students are able to follow the videos and complete their projects in Scratch. Encourage students who are struggling to pause and rewind videos as needed, and to work at their own pace.
  1. Add a “change whirl effect” block to create the wave effect.
  2. Add a “change whirl effect by -25” to reverse the wave effect.
  3. Place a wait block after each “change effect by” block.
  4. Make the wave keep going with a “forever” block.
  5. Add a “when flag clicked” block to run this code stack when the flag is clicked.
Video 4: Smooth Wave (10 minutes)
Directions Student Instructions
  • In this video, the students put loops inside the loop they've already created. This can be difficult for students who are new to Scratch and who may be unfamiliar with clicking, moving, and reordering the blocks. Offer encouragement and prompting to students who have difficulty durng this step to help them succeed. It may be helpful to ask students to help each other.
    (Show script)

    Hi [name]. I noticed that the loops in your program might be out of order. What happens when you run your program? Let's read your code to see if we can figure out what's happening.

Video 5: Tell a Story (10 minutes)
Directions Student Instructions
  • This video is fairly open ended and encourages students to create a story. Walk around and discuss with students what story they're trying to tell. Encourage them to share their ideas with their neighbors.
    (Show script)

    Hi [name]. Can you tell me about your story?

  1. Add two sprites.
  2. Add a "go to front" block to the water sprite.
  3. Add “when flag clicked” and “say” blocks to the first sprite to make it talk.
  4. Add “when flag clicked,” “wait,” and “say” blocks to the second sprite to make it talk.
  5. Continue to build your dialogue until you’ve made a story!
Activity Add-Ons (0 minutes)
Directions Student Instructions
Add-ons are optional videos that students can watch to learn about more ways to add to their project. Students can choose to watch and complete as many add-ons as they would like, or simply continue to build their story and explore. Encourage students to be creative, and ask them to discuss their projects with you.
Activity Wrap-Up (5 minutes)
Directions Student Instructions
  1. Tell students that they are out of time to work on their project.
    (Show script)

    Unfortunately, we're out of time for today.

  2. Ask students to click the "wrap up" button on cs-first.com.
    (Show script)

    CS First has a wrap-up procedure for each activity. Click the wrap-up button to get started.

  3. Ask students to put their headphones on and watch the wrap-up video at the end of the wrap-up sequence.
  4. Ask students to click the "share" button in Scratch (only students who have signed in will be able to share projects). Sharing a Scratch project enables any Scratch user to explore a student's work and creates a unique URL for the student's program.
  5. Ask students to show their project to someone sitting near them.
Watch this video to recap what you worked on in this activity.
Conclusion (3 minutes)
Directions Student Instructions
  1. Discuss the activity.
    (Show script)

    Finally, let’s discuss what you learned during this activity. [Read "discussion questions" from below].

  2. Facilitate dismissal by asking students to wrap headphones and shut down computers [ask students to either leave headphones at their seats or drop them off while exiting].
    (Show script)

    Please wrap your headphones. To do this, hold the headphones flat, and wrap the cord around the ear pieces [demonstrate]. Everyone, please try this now. [wait] Once your headphones are wrapped, please place them at your seats. Once I see that all of your headphones are wrapped, we will all leave together.

Discussion questions/topics:
  1. Tell me about the program you made today.
  2. What was your favorite part of this activity?
  3. What did you learn about computer science and coding?
  4. What was the most challenging part of this activity?

After members have exited the room: