Scratch Lingo

We love Scratch here at Coder Kids! It’s a great programming language (developed at MIT) that people of all ages use, but was especially designed for those 8-16 years old. Scratch has millions of users around the world who use it to create games, animations and stories that they can share with others (if they choose to do so).

Since we’re such big fans of Scratch and use it in a lot of our classes and camps, we thought we’d share some of the basic Scratch Lingo and what it means. This is great info if you are newer to Scratch, or if you’re a parent of a Scratch enthusiast! Hopefully it will get you up to speed in no time!

(We organized the list in alphabetical order)

Animations- a project that animates something

Backdrop- the background of your project in Scratch. You can have multiple backdrops in one project.

Blocks- blocks are used to create code in Scratch. They fit together like puzzle pieces. When put together, they create scripts (see below), which make a project work

Control block- a block that either starts a script or keeps it running

Create- the button in the blue bar that says “create.” Click on this to start a new project

Direction- where a sprite is pointing

Duplicate- to copy and create another (sprite, line of blocks, etc.)

Events block- Used to trigger events and cause a script to run. Without this block, a project won’t run unless you manually start each script.

Explore- the button in the blue bar that says “explore.” Allows you to explore projects other users have shared. There are games, animations, stories, and all kinds of art.

Gobo- a popular fish sprite

Green flag- this is what starts most projects’ scripts to run

Looks block- a block that controls how a sprite or a backdrop looks or changes

Motion block- a block that controls a sprite’s movement

Operator block- a block that performs math functions

Remix- a project created by modifying an already existing project and uploading it as a new project

Scratch Cat - an iconic cat who is the mascot of the Scratch community. Every project starts with Scratch cat!

Scripts- a collection or stack of blocks that interlock with one another. Determines how sprites interact with each other and the backdrop.

Sensing block- a block that detects (senses) something (touch, sound, etc.)

Sound block - a block that controls sound

Sprite- an object in Scratch that performs functions controlled by scripts (these are the characters and objects in your projects)

Variables block- a block that controls a variable

x position- the position that a sprite or the mouse is at on the horizontal axis

y position- the position that a sprite or the mouse is at on the vertical axis

Hopefully you find this list helpful, but If it’s still a little confusing, the best way to learn more is to come code with us at Coder Kids! If you want to learn more about Scratch at home, consider buying a book we love and supporting Coder Kids.

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Sarah Batmale