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Stretch and Scuttle

By Nat Cooper 5 minutes
For Everyone
Science and Technology,
  • Programming
  • Data
Tools & Languages

Key Coding Concepts

  • Algorithms
  • Loops



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



Running the same sequence multiple times i.e. repeat or forever blocks

Your learners won't confuse X and Y coordinates again, after explaining how they work using this unplugged activity. (This is a great addition to any Scratch lesson that incorporates the Motion scripts!)

  1. Have everyone stand up and spread out, facing the front of the room
  2. Ask if anyone remembers learning about X,Y coordinates or graphing in math class
  3. Explain that it can be difficult to remember which is which, so you are going to show everyone a trick for how to remember which way X and Y go
  4. Create an "X" with your body (legs open, arms stretched out) and ask which animal an X looks like. Start shuffling side-to-side. An X looks like a crab!
  5. Direct everyone to shuffle to the right together, then shuffle back to the left
  6. Make your body look like a Y (stretching up with arms open). Ask which way your body reaches when you make a Y (Up!)
  7. Say “Y to the sky!” and reach up together, then squat down together
  8. Test out their memory by standing straight and having them move their body based on the letter you call out. If you say “X!” they should shuffle side-to-side like a crab, and if you say “Y!” they should stretch up then down.

Assessment of learning in Scratch:

Have learners make their sprite move to the right (change x by a positive number) or move down (change Y by a negative number).

Use Scratch to plot coordinates and graph equations

Graphing Equations Using Slope

  1. Change the backdrop to the "X,Y Grid"
  2. Hide the Scratch sprite (select the sprite and click the eye with a stroke next to "Show" at the bottom of the sprite's name)
  3. Add the Pen extension
  4. Use the "pen down" script to graph a line, with "go to X,Y" to plot the starting point, and "change X by" and "change Y by" to draw the line.
  5. Have learners experiment by changing the x and y coordinates in the code. Ask learners what happens to the line when the x coordinate increases. Ask learners what happens to the line when the y coordinate increases.
  6. Make a new line where x and y are negative numbers. Ask learners to describe how the line changed when negative numbers are used.
  7. Change the backdrop to a cartesian plane. Have learners create 4 lines. Challenge the learners to put a line in each quadrant of the cartesian plane.
  8. Add some sprites to intersecting lines. Ask learners to write the x and y coordinates for each sprite.
  9. Writing/Reflect: Have learners fill out a 3,2,1 reflection for what they learned today.
    • 3 things they learned.
    • 2 connections they can make to the world or another lesson.
    • 1 question they still have.


Teach lessons that are tied to your existing curriculum!


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