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Bust a Rhyme: Can Code This – Da Na Na Na!

By Jen Perry 3 sessions (45 minutes each)
Grades 1-3
English Language Arts,
Science and Technology,
  • Programming
  • Data
Tools & Languages
Scratch Jr.,

Key Coding Concepts

  • Algorithms
  • Arrays
  • Events



A step-by-step set of operations to be performed to help solve a problem



When one thing causes another thing to happen



Identifying a series of steps necessary to complete a task.

Learners will write their own rap and will animate their rap using their knowledge of ScratchJr coding.


  • Learners should have previous experience with ScratchJr


  • Devices/iPads/Tablets with ScratchJr

Before the lesson…

  • Review key coding concepts and ensure you are confident describing them to your group
  • Reviewing the Canada Learning Code lesson “Rhyme Time” may be beneficial
  • Provide learners with opportunities to write poems and rap lyrics

Day 1 - Writing our Raps

  1. Allow learners to listen to rap music (preview songs before playing to ensure they are kid-friendly).
  2. Brainstorm a list of ideas that learners could write a rap about. Tell them that this is a theme. Some examples of rap themes may include:
    • all about themselves
    • their friends
    • school
    • favourite sport
    • it’s not fair…
    • their teacher
    • a current event
    • taking a test
  3. Learners will write their own raps. Provide rhyming dictionaries or online resources like Rhyme Zone.

Day 2 - Finalizing our Raps

  1. Learners can continue writing and revising their rap lyrics.
  2. Have learners practice lyrics as they will be recording themselves on ScratchJr.

Day 3 - Coding our Raps

  1. Review blocks (see Reference Guide or Learning Tips). Blocks can also be printed and displayed.
  2. Have learners create a new project.
  3. Learners will delete the cat, and replace it with another sprite (character). If the rap is about themselves, they can add a sprite that looks like them or take a picture of themselves. Learners can experiment with size, different standing positions, etc.

    This is a video on ‘Putting a Photo in Scratch Jr.’ (by Liza Johnson).

  4. Have learners add a background that represents their rap.
  5. Have learners add an event block, blue motion blocks, and repeat control blocks to animate their sprites.

    For further support, view the ‘Can I Make My Characters Dance?’ activity card.

  6. Learners will then record their rap using the green ‘Play Recorded Sound’ block.
  7. Lastly, provide an opportunity for learners to share their rap and coding programs with one another.

Note: if sharing an iPad, learners can create two pages (one for each person)

Coding and English

  • With a partner, learners can write a rap song with two different voices and then create a program with two different sprites. See the ‘Two Voice Poem Teacher Packet’.
  • Explore Rhyme Zone. Does this website use coding? How do you know?


As a whole-class activity, create a Google Sheet/Excel Doc and a graph representing the total number of coding blocks. Have a class discussion about which blocks were the most used and which were the least used? Here is a Google Sheet Template that can be used. Make a copy and add the number of blocks used. Then ‘Insert’ a Bar Graph.

Data (AI & Machine Learning)

Data (Accessing Information)

  • Recall ways in which data and information can be produced by many different actors with different interests.
  • Explore top song charts such as The Hot 100 Chart. How do they find this data?

ScratchJr Learning Blocks Reference Guide

Blocks to be printed/displayed

Learning Tip

Video on Putting a Photo in Scratch Jr. (by Liza Johnson)

ScratchJr Can I Make My Characters Dance?

Find rhymes

Two Voice Poem Teacher Packet (

Rhymes from a high-schooler’s machine learning system trained on Kanye’s lyrics

The Hot 100 Chart

Teach lessons that are tied to your existing curriculum!


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    The K-12 Computer Science Framework

    Although learning how to build digital projects is a key part of Computer Science education, students should also learn a wider set of skills and competencies that will help them to harness the power of digital technologies as both creators and consumers. A comprehensive approach to K-12 Computer Science education includes learning about the following five focus areas:

    View Framework ➝


    By the end of high school, students should be able to create a simple computer program.

    Computing and Networks

    By the end of high school, students should understand and be able to use the tools and devices commonly used to build digital projects.


    By the end of high school, students should be able to explain how we use computers to create, store, organize, and analyze data.

    Technology and Society

    By the end of high school, students should be able to explore the ways in which technology and society have mutually shaped each other.


    By the end of high school, students should be able to apply design principles to the digital projects they create.