Monday, December 7, 2015

Using Scratch Jr to Code How to Make Bread

Each Wednesday morning my students start the day by measuring out and adding ingredients to our class breadmaker.  They then get on with their day until the bread is ready to enjoy and share with others.

This past Wednesday they did things a bit differently.  With all the ingredients in the machine, my students turned to the free iPad app Scratch Jr to create a program that tells others how to make bread.  While they have worked with Scratch Jr before, this was the first time that their "coding" had a real purpose.  They were coding to teach others how to make bread too.

My students could choose to work on their own or with a friend.  They then got down to work. And boy did they work.  For close to 90 minutes my students worked on problem solving their coding needs.  They wanted their final product to look as close to what they do themselves each Wednesday morning.  They added repeats to their coding so that a spoon would go back and forth to match how many scoops they added to the bread machine.  They played with the appear/disappear feature so that they could make it look like their ingredients were dropping into the bread machine.  They added "characters" you could touch so that you could hear what was happening in the picture.  They added other links that took you to the next step in the process.  Along the way they learned that you can only have four "scenes" in each Scratch Jr project so a few of them had to make more than one project.

Now this wasn't easy for them.  There was a ton of trial and error.  There were math computations to figure out to ensure the spoons and scoops stopped at the  right place.  There was timing of items becoming visible, and then becoming invisible.  There were repeat codes.  Here's a small sampling of some of their coding.  You'll notice that many of their pages had several items to code. Remember anything they've added to the page that moves or makes a sound, needed to be coded.

This code is making the ingredient drop into the bread machine at just the right time to match the ingredient moving toward the bread maker. They have also programmed the dropping ingredient to disappear into the bread machine.

This code is ensuring that the flour fall from the spoon at the right time, and then disappear after it drops.

This code is programming the scope to make it from the flour to the bread maker and then tip into the bread maker.

This code is making the spoon go up and over to the bread maker, tip into the bread maker, then return back to the beginning and repeat the process four times since they have to add 4 scoops of this ingredient to the bread maker.

This code has the spoon travel from the left to the right side of the page, up the page and then over the bread maker where it tips into the machine

Curious what they looked like? Here are a couple to check out. Now please note in the transfer process the sound was lost so these are silent movies. Remember though every action in each movie was created by a specific code telling the object to do exactly what it's doing.  Enjoy


  1. Well done! This is a great opportunity to practice GRIT too! Thanks for sharing:)

  2. Spectacular thinking on the part of your kids, Karen.

    1. Thank you. I am trying to create thinkers and creators but it's easy when my kidlets are as awesome as they are. Children are incredible people.