ScratchJr is a graphical language for young children (KS1/Elementary) to create their own interactive stories and games. We've been using it with our Year 1 and Year 2 children and have recently tried to incorporate other elements of the UK National Curriculum into our programming, such as creating letters and counting.
Scratch is great for creating games, so why not get the children create games to develop their literacy and maths skills? These tutorials from the Scratch Jr team allow you to do just this. Although they're a little advanced for beginners, they can be used as games programmed by older children to be played by the younger children.
Recognising and naming uppercase and lowercase letters
These two tutorials show children how to create letters and then record their own voices to sound them out. On the first tutorial, when you click on the letter it says the name of the letter and then does a dance. On the second tutorial, the young programmers connect an uppercase letter with its lowercase counterpart.
Tutorial 1 - Uppercase and Lowercase Letters - Part 1
This project reinforces a student's knowledge of writing and recognizing uppercase and lowercase letters. Download tutorial.
Tutorial 2 - Uppercase and Lowercase Letters - Part 2
This project builds on Part 1 by adding the idea of messaging to link an uppercase letter with its lowercase counterpart. Download tutorial.
Counting and recognising numbers
This project makes a game for guessing how many cats are on the screen. The player will know whether he or she has tapped on the correct answer by reading the message that appears. Download tutorial.
These games are not just great for learning programming, but really useful for getting children to understand how games are made as well as being linked to NC objectives for Literacy and Numeracy. I really had fun teaching them, the children had fun learning - I hope you do too!