About this Curriculum
This computer science curriculum uses Scratch, an MIT Media Lab project, to explore important concepts in computer science while creating a foundation for coding in any language.
- Level One: Fundamentals introduces sequence, iteration, conditionals, variables, and modularization - the most fundamental principles in any programming language.
- Level Two: Explorations delves deeper into important principles of computer science such as generalization and modularity, and introduces some additional features of Scratch such as clones and lists.
- Level Three: Recursion focuses on recursion, an interesting, powerful, and important technique in which a computer program “calls itself.”
This curriculum provides youth with a series of tutorials and challenges within the Scratch environment. Young people can work on the activities individually, with partners, or in a guided instructional setting.
Explore the curriculum materials below and download the curriculum materials for free, or purchase the materials through 4-H.
Level One: Fundamentals Youth Guide
This first book is an introduction to the basic elements of programming within the Scratch environment. It covers the most fundamental principles of programming in any programming language: sequence, iteration, conditionals, variables, and modularization. After completing the activities in this guide you will be able to write simple programs for a variety of purposes.
Level Two: Explorations Guide
This second book delves deeper into important principles of computer science such as generalization and modularity, and introduces some additional features of Scratch such as clones and lists. Going through this book should strengthen your programming skills, help you write better programs, and give you some interesting ideas for further exploration.
Level Three: Recursion Guide
This third book focuses on an interesting, powerful, and important technique from computer science called recursion. A recursive program is one which "calls itself". In Scratch, this means using a block for the script within the very script that defines the block. Recursion makes solving many problems easier, and also allows one to do some things that would be very difficult to do without it, such as drawing intricate fractals.
Level One Facilitator Guide
This facilitator's guide is designed to further explore activities in the Level One Youth Guide. This guide provides "unplugged" activties: off-computer activities designed to help learners understand computer science concepts and augment the on-computer programming experience, much in the spirit of CS Unplugged. This guide also includes discussion questions, skills introduced, blocks introduced, and hints or suggestions to help youth better understand each activity and concept.