Introduction: Scratch Shape Block Functions

Make an interactive way to help students learn the functions of Scratch coding blocks.

You will be creating a push switch glossary that describes the functions of five Scratch blocks: hat, stack, boolean, reporter, and c-blocks. When some of the switches are pushed, they will play two different recording of the functions of that Scratch shape block. Other switches will only play one. Read on to find out why!


5 - 1" inch binder clips

5 - large paper clips (2 in)

scotch tape

10 alligator clips

1 Makey Makey

small cardboard rectangles (1 1/2 x 2 1/2 in)

cardstock or paper

computer (to access Scratch editor)

Step 1: Step 1: Print Scratch Block Shape Sheet

Print the Scratch block shape description sheet here. You may wish to print the sheet on cardstock to make it sturdy. You can use the shape block names (in the first row of the table) to label the switches.

You will be recording yourself reading the functions of each shape block in Scratch.

Step 2: Step 2: Coding in Scratch

Go to the Scratch website here.

Go to the sounds tab. You will record yourself reading the functions for each shape block. You can name each recording "hat1, hat2, stack1, stack2" etc.

Name each recording to match the shape block.

Enter this code in Scratch.

You may test the code with the keys on your computer.

DISCLOSURE: I am a total Scratch newbie: I have never worked with lists before I started working on this project. This code is still a work in progress. I could only get one button (up arrow/hat block) to correctly say the two recordings. The stack button says the first recording correctly when the switch is first pressed, but then says both recordings on the second press. I am stuck on how to fix this. The rest of the buttons say only one recording each - as of right now.

Step 3: Step 3: Making Your Switches

I learned how to make these switches from Scrappy Circuits. On one cardboard rectangle, attach two binder clips and one paper clip to make a push switch. Here is a video showing how to make the switch. You will need to make five switches. Cut out the labels from the shape block sheet you printed. Tape a label to each switch (hat, stack, boolean, reporter, and c block.

Each switch will need two alligator clips. You will connect each switch to earth and the corresponding outputs on the Makey Makey. The binder clip that remains flat connects to earth. The binder clip with the bent up paper clip connects to the arrows or space bar outputs on the Makey Makey.

hat = up arrow

stack = right arrow

boolean = down arrow

reporter = left arrow

c block = space bar

Step 4: Step 4: Press and Play (sort Of...)

Now, when the push switches are pressed, one switch is a BOSS (hat) because it works. The stack switch is trying its best, but can't keep up with hat yet. And the boolean, reporter, and c block switches don't know know any better. They are content (for now) to be one trick ponies.