Appy Advent – Activities for Advent Time (Week 1)

/ Lesson tips, Students, Teachers, Young Learners

Looking for an alternative Advent Calendar? This year, I’d like to invite young and old explorers, creators, discoverers to spend the coming 4 weeks with a daily coding challenge. Every day, you can discover a new animation, quiz or game, you can explore the code inside and create your own version with a video tutorial (if there is something new to learn) or an ‘edit’ version of the code (to put into the correct sequence and/or complete). Scratch is free online app (available also for download) created for kids to learn the basics of coding: algorithm, sequences, repetition, variables, etc. It’s a visual platform, so instead of memorizing code strings, kids can create animations and games by using puzzle pieces. For all those who love experimenting, this is the Tutorial section of the Scratch Team YouTube Channel. Good coding!

N.B. You can use the Scratch app online without registration. However, if you want to name and save your projects, you will need to create a free account. Use an avatar name. Once you saved a project, you can share it.
When you remix any of the projects in this Advent calendar, a message appears on my message board. If you’ve respected the main rules of all Scratchers (constructive criticism, nice people, etc.), your project will be added to this studio: APPY ADVENT CALENDAR – MASTERPIECES.

#1 Balloon POP: Happy Advent!

Let’s start with a simple animation:

Instructions: Click onto the big balloons and finally, onto the tiny balloon. Happy Advent!
Here’s the link to SEE INSIDE. You will find a lot of colorful buttons and puzzle pieces. These are going to be your building blocks for your future projects. Remember that the background in Scratch is called backdrop and the characters are sprites.

Video Tutorial:

Finally, why not create your own animation with some costume change. If you save and share it with us.

#2 Decorating the Christmas tree

Advent is the period when we prepare for Christmas and what is Christmas without a Christmas tree. Let’s decorate it together:

Instructions: Click onto the Green Flag and enjoy the Christmas lights!
Here’s the link to SEE INSIDE. The decoration is easy, but there is one little trick: the backdrop was created by changing the existing Winter backdrop.

Video Tutorial:

Also this time, copy the code and then feel free to create your own version. I’d love to see it in the Appy Advent Calendar – Masterpieces studio.

#3 Advent: Letter animation

Day three after Thanksgiving, we are getting better and better at Scratch-ing. Today, let’s add movement to our sprite animation:

Click onto the green flag and then start playing:
– Click onto the backdrop several times: what happens?
– Click onto the letters one after one: what happens?
– Click the SPACE key on your keyboard: what happens?

Here is the link to SEE INSIDE.

This time let me challenge you with this edit version:
Click onto the link and try to reconstruct the code. Instructions:
1) Click ‘See inside’
2) Can you reconstruct the code?
3) Start with letter A. There are three different commands (three columns).
4) Then copy the codes onto the other letters. Change the letter puzzle to the correct letter (already set up on each sprite).

Finally, feel free to create your own letter animation. Why not to share it with us?

#4 What’s the difference?

Today, I’d like you to remake a very popular puzzle for kids: Spot the difference. Here is my version:

Instructions: Click onto the Green Flag and memorize the picture for 30 seconds, then click onto the A key on your keyboard.
Can you tell the five differences?

For another round, click SPACE and try to remember all the things that changed (6 in total).

We cannot skip the link to SEE INSIDE.

And here’s the edit version. Give it a go:
1) Click ‘See inside’
2) Can you reorder the three codes for each sprite?
3) Mind the ‘apple’: you need to change the costume, too.

If you have time, make your own version and share it with other Scratchers.

#5 Dancing sprites

Day 5 in this year’s Advent season. Let’s get out into the nature and dance for the autumn:

Instructions: Click onto the Green Flag and enjoy the dance performance.

Here is the link to SEE INSIDE.

Today challenge is to re-organize the edit version:
1) Click ‘See inside’.
2) There are two sprites: both of them have a start position and an end position.
3) The girl has two set of movements with two-two positions repeated four times.
4) The boy has one set with four positions repeated four times.
5) Can you re-order the commands?

Now, it’s time to see your performance. When choosing a sprite, at the top you see categories. One of them is ‘Dance’. Here you can find all the sprites that have various dancing or gym poses. You can make them become dancing kings and queens. When ready, post your project in our Studio.

#6 Slot machine

By now, you have mastered costume changes in Scratch. Let me show you how to create a Scratch slot machine:

Instructions: Click onto the Green flag, then onto SPACE and wait. Can you get three identical pictures?
Click SPACE and try again… and again… and again!

Here’s the link to SEE INSIDE.

Here is the edit version:
1) Click ‘See inside’
2) There are three sprites. Put the commands for the first one in the right order.
3) Then copy the same code onto the other two sprites.

This time you can email me two things: 1) The number of times when you hit the Jackpot in 5 minutes? 2) The link to your version.

#7 Dancing Penguins

We’ve reached the end of the first Advent week. Let’s visit some friends on the South Pole:

Instructions: Click onto the Green Flag and enjoy the penguins’ dance performance!

Here’s the link to SEE INSIDE.

Here is the edit version. Since you are getting really good at coding, I made it a bit more complicated: I cancelled the code for penguins 2-4. Here’s some help:

Instructions: This is a great challenge. The music repeats 4 times (find it on the first sprite).
The four penguins do the same thing, but:
– penguin 2-4 hide, wait for some time and then show,
– every penguin repeats the same set of sing&dance moves one time fewer than the previous one.
1) Click ‘See inside’
2) Reorder the code on the first sprite.
3) Copy it onto the other sprites.
4) Add and change the appropriate code sequences.

(H)Appy Advent!
ELT-Tutor (Erna)


SCRATCH challenge: What’s the difference?
SCRATCH-Time: What’s the date?
Write a Story with these Scratch Story Prompts
Revising clothes with a Scratch challenge
Scratch challenge for Cambridge Movers – Speaking Part 3
Online English lessons and coding with YL (Part Three)
Online English lessons and coding with YL (Part Two)
Online English lessons and coding with YL (Part One)




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