Bernie Dodge, PhD
Office: NE-288 | Blog

Scratch: A Constructivist Learning Environment for Children

cat logoScratch is a new programming language that makes it easy to create interactive stories, animations, games, music, and art. It is designed to help young people (ages 8 and up) develop 21st century learning skills. As they create Scratch projects, they learn important mathematical and computational ideas while also gaining a deeper understanding of the process of design.
Meets 2/14 & 2/28.    Schedule # 01029.



This course is designed to be practical, current, interesting, empowering and thought-provoking. It is built around exploration, active learning, collaborative thinking and hard fun. When we're done, you'll have created a problem space and supporting materials to help young people learn to think like programmers and designers.


This course is targeted at teachers of K-12 and college students. It is also generally applicable to anyone who wants to improve their understanding of modern programming concepts.

Learning Outcomes

In this course you will learn how to

  • Explain the benefits of and techniques for teaching programming concepts to children and adolescents;
  • Create interactive multimedia using Scratch;
  • Create a lesson plan that describes an environment for constructivist learning using Scratch.


The book to the right is required reading and should be purchased through Amazon in time for the first class meeting.

A growing list of course-related links is also available and will be maintained after the course is over.


Course Outline

Session 1: February 14, 2009

  • image of presentation slideOverview
  • Why teach programming?
  • Intro to the Scratch Development Environment
  • Exercise 1: Hello World
  • Animating Sprites
  • Exercise 2: Dancing Mr Wiggly
  • Exercise 3: UFO landing
  • Generating project ideas


Session 2: February 28, 2009

Final Project Due March 14, 2009