Ask students to share what they know about code, input, output, and data. (Code: What people use to describe the steps a computer program should take; Input: The information and instructions that you give to the computer; Output: How a computer behaves based on a combination of your input and the code of the program; Data: The information that you put into a computer to get it to perform a task or make a calculation.)
Explain to the students that they will be using the online coding program Scratch to create a background, choose a character, and add animation to the character (animal) to show how it receives, processes, and responds to information using its senses.
Allow the students to watch the introductory video on the Scratch website to show an overview of coding on Scratch.
Students will work collaboratively in groups to choose an animal and research how it receives, processes, and responds to information using its senses. Example: skunks lifting tails and spraying an odor when threatened, dogs moving ears when reacting to sound, snakes coiling or striking when sensing vibrations. The students must choose one animal response (skunk lifting tail, dog barking, etc.) to present to the class through the coding program Scratch. Students can use the website Pebble Go to research their animals. This portion of the lesson should not take very long. Students are only presenting one animal response.
The students will go through the "Animate a Character" tutorial on Scratch. This tutorial gives step-by-step instructions on how to choose a character, create a background, and make the character talk, move, and change color.
After the students have watched and used the steps in practice on the tutorial, they will create an animated animal using the same steps from the tutorial. The students will need to choose a sprite character that matches their animal. If no character is listed in the Scratch program for their animal, they can add a picture of their animal.
If the students have trouble getting their animal to talk, move, or change color, they should identify any errors in their coding algorithm or revisit the "Animate a Character" tutorial for tips.