Tag Archives: alice

Week 2 Overview- Alice in Scratchland

Alice in Scratchland

When I first wrote this post, I thought I had completed Alice in Scratchland for the Scenes assignment of Week 2 of CCOW.  Then I went back and added Characters using {Make a Block} to define two character’s unique behaviours.  Then I added just enough puzzles and gameplay that players start to get drawn into Wonderland.  Then I added a final scene with an invitation to remix and continue the story.  So, In large part, this one project encompasses  over half of my week 2 activities.



This assignment was primarily to experiment how sprites and stage backgrounds can be used to change scenes in scratch.  I felt like I did this already in my About me project last week, but I gave it a go.  I went with an Alice in Wonderland theme.  Use the arrow keys to move around in the vignettes.

  What does the Stage have in common with sprites?   The stage has backgrounds, while sprites have costumes.  It is possible to change the appearance of each.   Stage Backgrounds differ from sprites in that they are fixed in place, and can have no motion or size effects.

 How do you initialize sprites in a scene?   You can hide them at the green flag until a certain background comes on or have them react to a broadcast command from the background or another sprite.
 What other types of projects (beyond animations) employ scene changes?   Games, especially 2d platformers, slide shows, digital story books, demonstrations and simulations.  Pretty much any application in scratch may use scene changes of one kind or another.
   How did others use backdrops in the studio?   To change colors or moods, to show pictures, to advance a story, or to show another screen in a game.

MartyH. made use of scenes and recorded narration to tell the wonderful story of Sadie and Fluffy.


The Make a Block Feature is a way to blend a variety of actions into one command unique to a sprite.  For my 2 characters, The White Rabbit and the Cheshire Cat, I used make a block to define those actions and movements that make the character unique.   The White Rabbit starts upstage left and moves toward the rabbit hole or the door with a distinctive double hop then step forward.  Randomly, he stops to say he’s late or other typical White Rabbit sayings.  I used a randomized list to mix up about 7 sayings.  Here is the script for the white rabbit.


For the Cheshire Cat, I used a costume of just eyes and the {ghost} effect, along with some random code to have scratch pop up anywhere on the top half of the screen at any time.   This gave the Cheshire Cat his characteristic feature of randomly appearing in the story.


Make a blocks are a great new feature of Scratch, which enables you to automate custom, repetitive or distinctive actions into one command.  This can make the rest of the scripts much more compact and easy to understand.  It is great for giving characters unique features, but it could also be useful to define certain algorithms or computations used as part of a larger program.  I can think of a teaching program for 2-d geometric shapes where you could define a block that would draw  each 2-d figure, ie) rectangle, square, octagon, etc…

Pass it On…  Remix Challenge.

It is nearly 150 years since Alice`s Adventures in Wonderland were first published and the story is beloved around the world.  I am interested to see where other people take my starter adventure with Alice and her companions (if anyone does take up the challenge with all the other potential remix projects to choose from).

 What is your definition of remixing?

As a folk singer, photographer, songwriter, elementary school teacher, podcaster, and recorder of public domain audiobooks (whew?),  I have come to realize that we stand on the shoulders of giants.  All creative endeavours borrow somewhat from the creativity of others before them.  I am passionate about the public domain and preserving this treasure of our forbearers which we can use to retell their stories, and remix to tell our own.   I try to use creative commons or public domain sources, such as open clipart as much as possible for these reasons.

How did it feel to remix? How did it feel to be remixed?

People are very proud of their work.  They can be quite protective of it.  But I have learned to let mine go into the world and see what stories it brings back to me.   For instance, here is a story from my songwriting blog a few years ago.  Take the time to listen to the podcast.  It is a great story.  (and it has an Alice in Wonderland connection too).

Filed by Sean on November-29-2009
 Special- King of Carrowocky [ 7:44 ] Download (5102)

This story is too random and too cool to fully explain.  Go ahead, try to explain the story in this podcast to your 1990 self.  I bet you can’t do it.  It began for me on November 24 when I received this tweet from Adam Gratrix @transpondency of theTranspondency Podcast.

RIAA’s Crafty King of Carrowocky http://bit.ly/7tgD4O mashup ft. @Sean_McGaughey http://bit.ly/7H9IL5 Librivox reading of Jabberwocky.

Listen to the show to hear what happened next.

Links in this show:

Jabberwocky on Librivox.org

Mr. Fab: The Crafty King of Carrowocky

I love adding new words to old melodies or a new twist to an old story.  It is important to acknowledge and give credit to those whose work you build upon.    Having said that, I get sloppy about giving specific attribution for each of the images in my scratch projects.  I have to get better about that because I know how people who freely share their work love to hear back about how it was used.  I think I will go back into my projects and give proper attribution for the images.

     What are the opportunities and challenges with this activity for your students?  

Attribution is a huge one.  They just don’t understand or care about the issue of having permission to use images and media in their own works.

For my own remix, I chose: Jazzy the Outward Hound by rrtika.

I took rritka’s original concept, added a doghouse from http://www.clipartdb.com/gif-dog-house-115.htm and turned the story back on itself to change the ending?

It was interesting working with another person’s code. She handles turning around by making another costume. I just set rotation to left-right and point it in the other direction.

Here is my remix: Homeward Hound


Debug It

Earlier this week, I posted my Week 2 Debug It solutions.


Conversations Between Sprites: Week 2- Penguin Jokes

Week 2 Wrap-Up

This week I ran into several limitations of Scratch, particularly  when I wanted to enable cloud based lists to make a database of user submitted Knock, Knock jokes in the Conversations activity.  Then I realized that Scratch is not meant to be a robust, all purpose programming environment.  It is necessarily constrained and limited to introduce children to key programming concepts.  Once they develop an understanding of these general programming concepts, they can move on to other fuller-featured languages.