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Lesson Plan
Music & Sound


In this activity, club members will choose a repeating loop of background music, make a slider that speeds up or slows down a sound, and create a keypress event that plays a single note.

Volunteer Focus

  • Support members who are having difficulty creating the variable and making it into a slider.
  • Encourage members who finish early to build add-ons and add more sound loops to their project.

Agenda Summary

Time (mins) Agenda Item
5 Introduction
3 View Showcase Projects
2 Transition to Computer Time
4 Watch Video 1 and Create
10 Watch Video 2 and Create
10 Watch Video 3 and Create
11 Watch Video 4 and Create
0 Choose Add-Ons and Create
2 Start Wrap-Up: CS First Reflection
4 Watch Wrap-Up Video
4 Share Projects
1 Select Showcases
4 Club Discussion

Topics Introduced

  • Keypress event
  • Variables (and using a slider)

Topics Reinforced

  • Events
  • Control Flow
  • Conditional Statements
Introduction (5 minutes)
Directions Student Instructions
1. Greet members at the door as they arrive.
(Show script)

Hi [name]. Welcome back!

2. Ask members to pick up their passports, then sit at an empty computer and log in.
(Show script)

Everyone please pick up your passports and go to a computer. Sign in to CS First and Scratch. Once you have logged in, please turn off your monitors.

3. Once all members are seated and logging in to their computers, privately ask members who are sitting alone to move to a computer near other members.
(Show script)

Hi [name]. Today you’re going to need to be sitting near others to work on this project. Would you mind moving to a seat where you’ll be able to interact with other club members?

4. Use the silent signal to get member attention.
(Show script)

[Silent signal] I need everyone’s attention up here, please.

5. Have all members turn off monitors and remove headphones before starting. It is important that you enforce this rule or members will use the computers instead of interacting.
(Show script)

Everyone please turn off your monitors, so we can begin the introduction [wait for all members to turn off monitors].

6. Discuss the last club. Can anyone tell me what we did last club? [Badge hunt activity]
(Show script)

Can anyone name some badges you earned? Which blocks did you use?

7. Introduce the day's activity: DJ Mixer introduces "sensing" blocks and conditional statements. You can also explain variables and how they are used in technology, but the videos will cover this material.
(Show script)

Hello everyone! In this activity you will create a DJ mixing tool. DJs use scratching techniques and digital mixing boards to build music. They incorporate sounds sampled from other songs and mix them into an underlying beat for people to dance to.  Today you'll learn all about that along with an important computer science concept: Variables.  You will use variables to mix up your beats by changing the timing of sound and music events.

  1. Pick up your passport.
  2. Choose a computer.
  3. Log in to your computer.
  4. Turn off your monitor.
View Showcase Projects (3 minutes)
Directions Student Instructions
[For instructions on finding and selecting showcases, see the "Preparation" section of this club plan. Remember that club members can opt out of having their projects shown. If the selected club members do not want to showcase their projects, you may ask for one or two volunteers to show their projects.]
  1. Transition to showcase.
    (Show script)

    [Pointing at agenda] Before we begin programming this activity, let's view the member showcases selected at the end of last club. We will play each project, look at the code, and then applaud how awesome the project is. Let's look at the first project!

  2. Run first project and discuss.
    (Show script)

    Someone please raise your hand and tell me what types of blocks you think might be used in this project?

  3. Look at code by clicking the "See Inside" button.
    (Show script)

    Let's take a look at the code used in this project. [Show code and mention a few of the blocks used in the project.]

  4. Cheer and clap.
    (Show script)

    Wow! Amazing! That was a great project! Let’s give them a great big round of applause!

  5. Repeat steps for any additional projects.
  1. Enjoy projects from last club!
  2. Make some noise!
Transition to Computer Time (2 minutes)
Directions Student Instructions
  1. Introduce computer time.
    (Show script)

    [show agenda] Now, we're going to move into the computer time.

  2. Remind members to use a sticky note if they have a question. [optional]  
    (Show script)

    If you have a question during this time, ask your neighbors for help. If they can’t help you, put a sticky note on your monitor and, I will come help you.

  3. Remind members that at the end of this activity you will pick a few projects to share next club.
    (Show script)

    Remember that at the end of this activity we will pick a few people’s projects to show at the beginning of next club.

  4. Have members turn on monitors and navigate to CS First website.
    (Show script)

    Please turn on your monitors, go to the CS First website, and start watching the first video.

  5. If there are new club members, provide them with your club code and ask them to go to to get sign-in information.
    (Show script)

    If today is your first time in this club, please begin by going to Click "Enter Club Code," then follow the directions to get a sign-in and password.

  1. Go to
  2. Sign in with the username and password from your club pass.
  3. Start watching the first video.
  4. If it's your first day, welcome! Go to and click "Enter Club Code" to get started. Ask your Guru for your club's code.
Watch Video 1 and Create (4 minutes)
Directions Student Instructions
Immediately after asking members to begin watching the first video:
  • Answer questions promptly so members can get started on the activity.
  • Go to a place in the room where you can see all of the monitors. Ensure that all members have begun to watch the first video. Look for members who are either not on the CS First site or who are watching the wrong video. Politely and privately redirect these members to the correct video.
  1. Sign in to Scratch.
  2. Create a new project and name it "DJ Mixer."
  3. Delete the Scratch Cat and add a new sprite.
Watch Video 2 and Create (10 minutes)
Directions Student Instructions
Interact with all members in the club. Your attention demonstrates you care. Try to interact with every member personally at least once per club session.
(Show script)

Hi [name], how’s it going? Can you show me what you've made so far? How did you make your project do that? That looks really good! Keep working hard on your project.

  • In the videos for this activity, club members learn about how DJs use a consistent sound or repeating musical loop that underlies the entire track, then insert and play other sounds over that track. Students must choose a Music Loop, rather than a shorter sound.
    (Show script)

    If you want a background track, it makes sense to have something that plays over and over again like a beat boxer. Therefore, you need to choose a music loop from the Scratch music menu instead of just a sound.

  • Make sure students choose the "play sound until done" block instead of the "play sound" block. If the DJ mixer's sound stutters or does not play, check for the "play sound until done" block in the member's code.
    (Show script)

    For a DJ to lay down a beat, he or she needs to create a steady, repeating background track. Sounds need to play until they are done, then start over again from the beginning to create a smooth background for the music to be mixed over.

  • If the music only plays once, the club member needs to add a forever loop.
    (Show script)

    You want your music to play continuously while the DJ is mixing on top of that track. To make that happen, place a forever loop around it to make it play over and over again.

  1. Choose the main music track for your DJ Mixer.
  2. Program the main music track to play continuously when the green flag is clicked.
  3. Use a "forever" loop to make a musical note play forever.
Watch Video 3 and Create (10 minutes)
Directions Student Instructions
  • Club members will add another sound that repeats when the flag is clicked. A "wait" block will control the time between the repeating sounds.
  •  Make sure club members do not get lost in the design step here.  Also, they should choose a shorter "sound," rather than another musical loop.
  • In this step, members should use the "play sound" block, rather than the "play sound until done" block they used in the previous step. Using the "play sound" block allows the club member to intentionally make the sound stutter if they prefer.  However, the code will also work with the "play sound until done" block.
  • Encourage the club member to add a “wait” block to space out the sounds. Encourage them to tinker and experiment with their code (while keeping an eye on the time).
  1. Choose a new sample sound to mix over the background track.
  2. Program the sample sound to play continuously.
  3. Add a "wait" block to slow down the speed of the sample.
Watch Video 4 and Create (11 minutes)
Directions Student Instructions
  1. Club members often have problems changing the variable into a slider control. Remind them to double click the variable to make the slider. 
  2. Club members may be confused by setting up the variable where the speed = variable/10, so be ready to help them with this step.
  3. Club members may be unsure what to name the variable or may think that the variable's name dictates its action. Watch for members who appear stuck on this step, and help them understand that they should name the variable something that makes sense, but that the name of the variable does not affect its function.
  1. Create a variable to control the speed of your new sample sound.
  2. Convert the variable to a slider bar to make it easier to control the sound.
  3. Use the variable and an "operator" block in the "wait" block that controls the sample sound.
Choose Add-Ons and Create (0 minutes)
Directions Student Instructions
Add-On 1: Adding More Samples involves downloading more music samples. If club members are having a hard time downloading and uploading on school computers, remind them that Scratch has a large sound library that they can choose from. 
During this time, members customize their projects by trying some add-ons. Add-ons allow members to explore programming concepts and features as they follow the guidance and instruction in the videos.
  1. Walk around, and encourage members to try the add-ons that interest them.  
    (Show script)

    It looks like you've finished the core videos. That's great! Move to the next page to learn about different ways to customize your project.

  2. Help members navigate the add-ons menu.
    (Show script)

    "When you click "watch," the add-on will open. To go back to the add-on selection screen, click on the X at the top of the video."

  3. If you notice that members have not saved or shared their projects (You will see a "See project page" button in the top right corner of the project editor on projects members have shared.), encourage them to do so before they continue working on add-ons.
    (Show script)

    I see that you're working on the add-ons. Be sure to save your project, and click "Share" to make it available to the Scratch community.

  1. Choose an Add-On, and click "watch" to learn how to build it.
  2. Once you finish one Add-On, try another one below the video!
Start Wrap-Up: CS First Reflection (2 minutes)
Directions Student Instructions
  1. Get everyone’s attention using the silent signal.
    (Show script)

    [silent signal] Can I have everyone’s attention up here, please?

  2. Ask club members to click the next arrow until they reach the reflection page, then to complete the reflection.
    (Show script)

    Now it's time for the CS First club reflection and wrap-up video. Click the 'next' arrow, and complete the reflection. Then, click the next arrow and watch the wrap-up video. While you do this, I'll walk around and hand out participation badges.

  3. Walk around, and ensure that club members are transitioning to the reflection page.
  4. Give out participation badges (stickers).
  1. Complete the CS First Reflection.
Watch Wrap-Up Video (4 minutes)
Directions Student Instructions
  1. Prompt club members to complete the club reflection, then move on to the wrap-up video.
    (Show script)

    After you've completed your reflection, click the 'next' arrow to watch the wrap-up video. While you're finishing these final steps, I'll continue to walk around and award the participation badges for this activity.

  2. Ask club members to write a shout-out for a clubmate. [optional] 
    (Show script)

    After watching the wrap-up video, write a positive note to a clubmate on your sticky note. Thank someone who helped you, or call out a great project. Once you've written a shout-out, come place it on the G+ board.

  3. Continue to circulate around the club, and pass out participation badges.
  4. When the Agenda Timer indicates that 30 seconds remain in this section, remind club members about the time.
    (Show script)

    You have thirty seconds remaining until we begin sharing projects.

Write a G+ shout-out!
Share Projects (4 minutes)
Directions Student Instructions
  1. Tell club members to return to Scratch, and click the "share" button.
    (Show script)

    [Silent signal] Please return to your Scratch project. If you haven't already, please name your project, and, if you’d like, share it by clicking the "share" button in Scratch. Sharing you project will allow any user on the Scratch website to view it. If you can't find the "share" button, ask a neighbor for help. Once you've shared your project in Scratch write a description that explains how to use it. Then, in one minute, we'll begin sharing projects with our neighbors.

  2. Ask the club to begin sharing their projects with the person or people sitting next to them.
    (Show script)

    Everyone please begin sharing your projects with the people sitting near you. During this time, I shouldn't see anyone working on their projects.

  3. Walk around and encourage club members who haven’t shared their projects (the share button will still be visible in the top-right corner of the screen) to do so. If club members don’t wish to share, that’s okay. Ensure that all club members are engaging in this social aspect of the club by either sharing their project with a neighbor, or talking to other club members about their project.
  1. Click the "Share" button in Scratch.
  2. Share your project with a neighbor.
Select Showcases (1 minutes)
Directions Student Instructions
  1. Display showcase selector on board (follow the link at the top of this club plan).
  2. Get everyone’s attention using the silent signal and request that club members turn off their monitors. Ensure that all monitors are turned off before beginning (club members won’t need to use their computers again during this club).
    (Show script)

    [Hand raised] Everyone please turn your monitors off and direct your attention up here.

  3. Explain showcase selector.
    (Show script)

    This is the showcase selector. At the end of each activity, we'll pick two projects to showcase at the beginning of next club. If your project is selected, we'll display it up here on the projector next club and everyone will get a chance to enjoy it!

  4. Run the showcase selector.
    (Show script)

    Let’s get excited! Let’s press the "Choose a Showcase!" button and see who gets selected! And we have… CSF###!

  5. Using the club roster, find and say the names of the club members selected.
    (Show script)

    Wonderful! CSF### is...  [name]! I’m really looking forward to seeing [member names] projects next club.

  6. Remind members to share their project.
    (Show script)

    If you were one of the members selected, make sure that we'll be able to see your project by clicking the share button at the top of the project editor. If you didn't do that for this project, make sure you do it first thing at the start of next club.

  7. Tell members what to do if they don't want their project shown.
    (Show script)

    If you were selected, but you don't want your project shown next club, please see me after this club or before the beginning of next club.

  1. Know your CS First ID.
  2. Celebrate the projects selected!
Club Discussion (4 minutes)
Directions Student Instructions
  • Briefly review and highlight some G+ posts that club members made.
    (Show script)

    Let’s look at some of the G+ shout-outs that club members received for their work during this activity. [Read a few G+ shout-outs aloud].

  • Lead whole-club discussion.
    (Show script)

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

  • Preview next club.
    (Show script)

    Next club is on [day of next club (e.g. Monday)], and you will build [description of project].

  • Exit.
    (Show script)

    Once your headphones are wrapped up and your computers are shut down, we will all leave together. I look forward to working with you again next club!

Discussion questions:
  • What was your favorite sound you used for this activity?
  • Can anyone tell me what a variable is? How did you use a variable in your project?  
  • What block did you use to make the music play continuously?
Next activity: In the next activity, you'll select a song and make an animated music video with cool effects you get to choose.
  1. Participate in discussion.
  2. Clean up computer station.
  3. Wrap headphones.
  4. If instructed to by your Guru, shut down computers.

After members have exited the room: