A Teacher’s Guide to Scratch: Lesson 4

July 6, 2015 by wendy

Scratch Dance Party
joe’s party by coderlover360 on Scratch

We continue to explore loops, music, and animation by building dance parties with our favourite songs!

Lesson 4: Dance Party

Last week, we played with repeat loops to animate sprites and make music. How are repeat loops helpful? This week, we’re experimenting with another type of loop called the forever loop. Can your students guess what a forever loop is for?

Dance, Dance, Dance

Start the lesson by looking at some dance party examples like the ones above. How did each sprite have so many different looks? In Scratch, we need costumes!

Costumes in Scratch

Create a new project and make sure that Scratch Cat is selected. Click on the Costumes tab next to the Scripts tab. Notice that even Scratch Cat has two different poses or costumes: costume1 looks like Scratch Cat is walking and costume2 looks like Scratch Cat is running. If you click between the two, Scratch Cat starts to animate, but how do we animate using code?

Making sprites dance!

Making Sprites Dance
Animating sprites using forever blocks and costume blocks

By combining forever blocks with costume blocks, we can make sprites dance. Choose a sprite with multiple costumes, and then demonstrate different ways to animate the sprite:

  • Drag the “next costume” block and “wait 1 secs” block into a forever block.
  • Snap a series of “switch costume to…” and “wait 1 secs” blocks inside a forever block.

Don’t forget to show students that they can also paint new costumes to create their own animations.

Adding a favourite song

Ask your students to think of a favourite song to add to their dance party. Follow these steps to add a song from a YouTube video into a Scratch project:

  1. Go to YouTube and choose a video.
  2. Copy the URL.
  3. Go to youtube-mp3.org.
  4. Paste the URL into the box.
  5. Click on Convert Video.
  6. Click on Download.
  7. Go to your Scratch project.
  8. Click on the Sounds tab.
  9. Click on the “Upload sound from file” icon.
  10. Select your downloaded song file.
  11. Click on the Scripts tab.
  12. Click on Sound.
  13. Click the arrow on the “play sound … until done” block to choose your song.
  14. Drag the “play sound … until done” block into a forever block.

Building a dance party

Give students time to find their favourite song and to explore different dance parties. Here are a couple of places to start: Dance, Dance, Dance Studio and Scratch Day Dance Party.

They can also watch the Make your sprite dance video or try the Dance, Dance, Dance tutorial by clicking on “Tips” in the Scratch editor.

Encourage students to create their own project or to remix an existing project. Challenge them to animate the backdrop. Have your students add their dance parties to the class studio and gather feedback from at least three other students.