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Sean's Scratch Programming Resources

I've collected together my Scratch tutorials, free book chapters, sprite packs and more, to help you learn to program in Scratch. I hope that these will prove to be valuable teaching resources, as well as useful for students teaching themselves Scratch, community code club leaders, and parents.

What is Scratch?

Scratch is a programming language, popular in schools and education. Over 40 million projects have been shared on the Scratch website, and over 45 million users have registered an account.

In Scratch, instructions are prewritten on blocks that you drag and drop, so Scratch eliminates the kind of errors that often arise from typing mistakes in other programming languages. Blocks lock together like jigsaw pieces, so Scratch guides you to combine instructions in logical ways. Here's an example Scratch program that hides a sprite (a picture) when you click the green flag button:

Scratch code: when green flag clicked, hide

The Scratch catScratch provides images (sprites) and sounds you can use in your project, so it's easy to get started. Every Scratch project starts with a cat sprite, and the Scratch cat (pictured here) has become a widely recognised icon of the Scratch community.

The latest version of Scratch is Scratch 3, which was released in 2019, and which runs in the browser on most devices. Earlier versions were Scratch 2, based on Flash, and Scratch 1.4, which has been highly optimised for speed on the Raspberry Pi. Scratch is free to use, so get stuck in!


Free chapters from my books about Scratch

Photo of Cool Scratch Projects in Easy Steps I've written and co-written a number of books about Scratch, including Scratch Programming in Easy Steps, Cool Scratch Projects in Easy Steps, and Coder Academy.

Get free PDF chapters from my Scratch books here:


10 Block Scratch demos

Screenshot showing graphic effects from the sprite explosion demo I've been creating small Scratch demos, using up to 10 blocks, to provide simple tutorials and building blocks for bigger projects. Find them here:


Scratch programming tutorials and articles

Here's a selection of articles and tutorials I've written about Scratch. Some articles are reproduced from back issues of The MagPi, the official Raspberry Pi magazine, under a Creative Commons licence. You can support The MagPi by buying it in print, or subscribing here.

Title slide from my presentation on debugging Scratch at Scratch Conference


Get some free Scratch sprite packs

Here are two packs of sprites you can use in Scratch to create your own projects.

Coder academy sprite pack Red Noses sprite pack

See also my images you can use in Scratch projects.


Scratch music notes infographic

I created this infographic showing the musical note numbers in Scratch to make it easier to program tunes. The same numbers are used in Sonic Pi, the music programming language popular on the Raspberry Pi.

Raspberry Pi Scratch and Sonic Pi note numbers.

To play a note in Scratch, enter its number into the Play Note block, shown below. You can join multiple Play Note blocks to play a tune. In Scratch 3.0, the music blocks are an extension, so you'll need to go to the bottom of the Blocks Palette first to add them. For more tips on music in Scratch, check out the free PDF sampler from Coder Academy.

Screenshot of the Play Note block in Scratch 3.0


Play my favourite Scratch project I've made

I couldn't really finish this page without sharing one of my Scratch projects with you. Here's Gribbet, from Cool Scratch Projects in Easy Steps. It's a pattern repetition game: the frogs sing first, then it's your turn to play the sequence back by clicking the frogs in the same order. I like the characterisation in this project, with the frogs watching each other sing and following your mouse pointer with their eyes. There are some fun facial expressions too.


Scratch community links

Credits

© Sean McManus. All rights reserved.

Visit www.sean.co.uk for free chapters from Sean's coding books (including Mission Python, Scratch Programming in Easy Steps and Coder Academy) and more!

Discover my latest books and music

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Coder Academy book

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Learn to make games and other programs in Scratch, and make a web page in HTML. Highly interactive book for 7-10 year olds.

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