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Cherry Chase second-graders bring their writing to life with coding

Ananya- Ladybugs_Page_01

Students in Heather Carter’s second-grade class at Cherry Chase Elementary are expanding their idea of literacy to include computer programming. With the help of Anu Agarwal, a parent volunteer, the class created projects using ScratchJr, an introductory programming language that enables young children to create their own interactive stories and games.

First Ms. Agarwal introduced Ms. Carter to ScratchJr; then she gave the students a tutorial on the program. “We let them practice making their own Scratch Jr. projects, so they knew how to draw and code movement, make recordings of their voices, make canvases, etc.,” said Ms. Carter.

Then Ms. Carter and Ms. Agarwal collaborated to incorporate the students’ new coding skills into their English Language Arts (ELA) curriculum.

The class made “All About” animal books for an informational writing project. Once the students finished their final draft of a page—appearance, habitat, diet, and fun fact— they made a canvas of that page’s background and animal, and coded it to move. Once they had finished writing all of their pages, they recorded themselves and narrated their All About projects. Click on the videos above for examples of their finished projects.

“I am so proud of them and they were so engaged and excited about this project!” said Ms. Carter.

ScratchJr was inspired by the Scratch programming language ( used by millions of young people around the world.

Article by Lighthouse Blue Communications Consultant Dyan Chan.

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