With Project one out of the way, but Christmas fast approaching, I choose instead to do an interim Christmas themed project, handily provided by Code Club.

However, this project was aimed at Level 2 students, so after asking permission from the original creator of the project, @PAFinn, I modified the project to something akin to a level 1 project, complete with a mocked up worksheet, and simplified resources and instructions.

I’ve attached the project to this post for those who might be interested. It essentially just removes the scrolling background, and re-words the steps a little.

Christmas Capers Scratch Project (modified for Level 1)

To set the scene, I turned up in a fetching festive jumper, sporting a Christmas Pudding on the front, and got the project running on the projector, so that they entered to the sound of Jingle Bells. It was probably only for my benefit though.

The aim of this interim lesson was to review the concepts we’d learnt in the earlier lessons on project one, and how they could be applied to this new project, reiterating the importance of following instructions methodically. I made sure I went, step by step, through the worksheet on the projector, and got them to follow at the same speed, walking round to ensure nobody fell behind.

I previously had tried to let them make their own customisations to the game as they went, but this usually led to difficulties. This time I asked that they follow the instructions to the letter, keeping names and sprites the same, so that it would be easier to follow the instructions. I demonstrated that changing the name of a sprite would change the name of the value in some dropdown boxes, so would mean your scripts would be different to those shown in the instructions. The agreement was that if they finished their project they could then customise it afterwards.

The other thing I demonstrated was what happens when you DON’T follow the instructions. I deliberately missed a step, then found the behaviour wasn’t as expected. I called this a “Bug” and explained that we must have missed a step, so we re-read the step and spotted the missing line, demonstrating that it now worked as expected.

I had hoped to go through it at a slower pace, spreading this project over what I thought would be the two weeks of term remaining, but found out that there would be no school clubs next week, so I had to speed through things quickly to complete it all in the hour we had.

But I’m pleased to say that I think every student got through the entire project in the hour, some needing a bit more help than others, but again it was good to see a full classroom.

The next code club will be in the new year, where we will be on to project two.

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