Introduction to Programming – Bucchieri + Murray

Name of Unit

Introduction to Programming


Marc Bucchieri and Polly Murray


Columbus School


Joseph Plati

Brief Description

The students will be introduced to the basic idea of programming through a program called Scratch and apply concepts like loops and conditionals.


4th grade


Programming, Scratch, Computers, Computer Science, Video Game

Number of Weeks


Week 1

Human Robot: An introduction to programming This lesson gives students an opportunity to think like a programmer, and practice writing specific sets of instructions. One STOMP fellow acts as a robot with a task to be accomplished. In pairs, students will write a “script” that directs the robot.

Week 2

Intro To Scratch Fundamental knowledge/ refresher: coordinate system (x,y), angles and degrees Scratch Lesson: Stepwise motion, direction changing Goal: program a sprite to move to all four corners of the window.

Week 3

User Input (keyboard commands, mouse movement, etc) Scratch lesson: types of user input, how to connect user commands with scratch actions Goal: Use arrow keys to move sprite to four corners, given an order.

Week 4

Conditional Statements Scratch Lesson: Introduction to “If-Then-Statements” Goal: Program Sprite to follow a series of conditional statements Advanced Goal: Program Sprite to follow an alternative action if “If-then-statement” is not met

Week 5

Sensing (ext. Cond) Scratch Lesson: Continue lesson on conditionals and introduce types of sensing sprite can experience Goal: Program sprite to take an action after “sensing” something, ex: if sprite hits the floor, sprite bounces back up and/or can change color, sound etc. Advanced Goal: Each time Sprite senses something, 3 actions have to occur

Week 6

Loops Scratch Lesson: Introduce Loops: “Repetition” and when it can be useful/ should be used Goal: Create a situation in which a loop is needed and program Sprite to follow it Advanced Goal: Create a different loop than the first

Week 7

Loops continued (if needed)

Week 8

Creation of an animated card for anyone Scratch Lesson: Explore possibilities in making an animated card (the possible functions a card can have) Goal: Create a card and those who want, can share with the class Advanced Goal: Create a card that has both sound and involves user-interaction

Week 9

Explain and present Final Project (Creation of a game) Scratch Lesson: Begin drafting idea, what the purpose of your game is Goal: Have a written rough draft of the “things” your game will do (The game plan can change but just to start with a concrete idea)

Week 10

Final Project  Goal: Work on final project, have it working or almost ready by the end of class

Week 11

Final Project Goal: Present to the class final project, have students play with their classmates’ creations

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