Welcome to Scratch, a free engaging and educational platform tailor-made for educators and their students by MIT. Scratch provides a block-based coding language and interactive interface so students can see their ideas come to life. But it is more than just coding; it's a creative playground that nurtures computational thinking, problem solving, and digital fluency. Here's how to use Scratch in your classroom so that your students benefit the most!
Get Started with Scratch for Educators and Students
Follow these five steps to set up your free teacher account, find a curriculum and lesson plans to follow, and even see how other teachers use Scratch today.
1. Explore the Scratch Website and Classroom Examples
As an educator, you can learn all about Scratch by visiting the Scratch for Educators website. Here, you'll find a treasure trove of resources designed to help you integrate Scratch seamlessly into your classroom. Check out Scratch in Practice to see examples of how educators around the world use Scratch in their classrooms.
2. Follow Curriculum Guides and Lesson Plans
Scratch for Educators provides a Creative Computing Curriculum, designed by the Creative Computing Lab at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, which is a collection of ideas, strategies, and activities for an introductory creative computing experience using Scratch. Scratch also provides ready-made one-hour workshop lesson plans, Educator Guides, show you how to prepare and run Scratch classes. In addition, Google’s free curriculum, CS First, has over 1,000 instructional videos and lesson plans introduce students to Scratch. So whether you're teaching coding basics or exploring advanced projects, you'll discover resources suitable for all levels.
Award-winning platform Create & Learn offers live online expert-led classes in Scratch for K-12 students, as well as 35+ computer science subjects (including AP classes) with a curriculum designed by professionals from Google, Stanford, and MIT. Pick from 10 fun computer science lessons for your students to learn, and get in touch for your free class! Your students can also join free live online computer science events with experts from technology companies including Intel, Pixar, NASA, and more.
3. Use Free Scratch Resources for Students
Explore Scratch Tutorials and Scratch projects for students follow step by step at their own pace to create stories, animations, games, and more. Download and print Coding Cards for step-by-step instructions for a variety of projects - even playing a song!
4. Request a Scratch Teacher Account
Create a free Scratch teacher account to manage your students' profiles and projects. This allows you to maintain a safe and collaborative environment for your class. To learn more, see the Teacher Account Setup Guide.
5. Community and Support
Join the Teaching with Scratch Facebook group, where you can connect with fellow educators, share ideas, and seek advice. Attend ScratchEd Educator Meetups to share ideas and strategies with other educators. The Scratch community is vibrant and supportive, making it a valuable resource.
How to Use Scratch for Educators
Here are a couple of special considerations to keep in mind as you employ Scratch in your classroom.
1. Encourage Interdisciplinary Learning
Most students don’t realize that technology career opportunities exist in many forms. For example, students who like art might find UI/UX design at Airbnb interesting; those who enjoy building things may love robotics at Tesla; students interested in biology will find powerful tech applications in patient care at GE, and sports fans will find data analytics at NFL fascinating. So harness your students interests and apply them to concepts they're learning in Scratch to help them become passionate about computer science. Help them bring to life projects that combine coding with art, storytelling, math, and science to make learning engaging, holistic, and applicable to the real world.
- Creative Storytelling: Encourage students to use Scratch to create interactive stories. They can weave narratives that incorporate elements of literature, art, and coding. Through storytelling, students develop language skills while honing their coding prowess.
- Art and Music: Unleash your students' artistic talents by merging Scratch with visual arts and music. They can code interactive art pieces, compose music, or even develop virtual art galleries. This approach combines coding with creative expression.
- Social Studies and Geography: Explore history, geography, and cultural studies through Scratch. Students can code interactive maps and historical timelines.
2. Harness Accessibility and Inclusivity
Scratch is designed to be inclusive, ensuring that all of your students, regardless of their abilities, can participate. So research the ways it can accommodate any of your students' needs. Here are a few examples.
Today Scratch is used in every country around the world, and more than half of Scratchers are located outside of the United States. Because language plays a significant role in how kids experience Scratch, it's been translated into 74 languages and counting.
In 2022, the Scratch Conference was translated live into four languages including American Sign Language (check out this American Sign Language tutorial in the Scratch editor, too!).
Scratch also launched new colored blocks in 2022, increasing the color contrast across the site and the offline editor to ensure that Scratchers with low vision can more easily use Scratch.
3. Ongoing Learning
As with any technology, the Scratch platform is constantly evolving, and there are always new projects and ideas to discover. So keep exploring Scratch alongside your students. Keep an eye on Scratch Lab, the playtesting environment, to get a sneak peek at upcoming projects and share your feedback. Another simple way to stay on top of new developments is to sign up to receive email updates and tips from the Scratch Team.
Use Scratch for Educators and Students
Scratch empowers you to unlock your students' creativity and foster essential 21st-century skills. Whether you're introducing coding for the first time or nurturing young programmers, Scratch is your versatile ally in the classroom. So, dive in, explore, and watch your students thrive in the world of Scratch! Get in touch to request a free live online computer science class for your students to learn Scratch from an award-winning platform used by SMASH and Meta's Engineer for the Week in schools worldwide.
Up next, explore a complete list of free coding resources for teachers here.