An example of an animal story activity using the provided sprites and a custom backdrop. In this example four pink dots are being added to six pink dots.


The students add two sprites, a backdrop change, and a recording of their voice to illustrate their Animal Story.


Programing Skills with Scratch:

  • Open, remix, save a Scratch activity
  • Show, hide, and place sprites on the stage
  • Use event blocks to start a script
  • Make a sprite say something
  • Link blocks shown in the script area
  • Create a new backdrop
  • Scratch blocks used: (When green flag clicked, when this sprite clicked, show, hide, forever, change color effect by 25)


  1. Open the Animal Stories Scratch activity (teacher version).
  2. Click the green flag. Then click the duck. Then click the dog. Ask students to solve the problem. When they know the answer press the space bar.
  3. Discuss the scripts used for the duck, dog, and backdrop. Talk about each block.
  4. Open theAnimal Stories Scratch activity (student version). Together notice this activity has 10 sprites shown below the stage. These sprites hide when the green flag is clicked.
  5. Together choose 2 of these sprites and use them to create an Animal story. Think of a number sentence to use for this example activity.
  1. Refer to the Animal story you just created together as you show students how to illustrate it using the Animal Stories Scratch activity (student version).
    1. Click remix to make changes to the activity.
    2. Click one of the chosen sprites for your Animal story shown below the stage area. Its scripts will show in the script area. Click show and the sprite will appear on the stage. Replace the hide block linked to the When green flag click block with the show block for this sprite. Now it will show when the green flag is clicked.
    3. Move the sprite to a location of your choice on the stage.
    4. Link the blocks shown in this sprite’s script area and record words to match the Animal story you created with students.
    5. Do the same for the other sprites used in the Animal story.
  2. Show students how to select a new backdrop for the story.Screenshot of the brush icon under the
    1. Click the brush icon under New backdrop.
    2. Show student how to add dots and text to represent the number story on the backdrop.
  3. Decide if you want students to work alone or with partners.
  4. Tell students they will write and illustrate their own Animal story using Scratch.
  5. Pass out the Animal Stories planning pages (Animal Stories planning page & Animal Stories sprites). Give these directions:
    1. Decide which 2 sprites and which backdrop you will use for your Animal story.
    2. Cut out the 2 sprites and glue each in one section of the worksheet.
    3. Write what you will record for each animal in your story.
  6. As each student or partners finish their worksheet, approve their story. Then allow time for them to open and remix the Animal Stories Scratch activity (student version) to illustrate their story.
  1. Be sure students know how make a recording of their voice using Scratch.A screenshot of the scratch sounds tab that is described in step 12. The Sounds tab is the tab on the far right adjacent to the Costumes tab. The Record new sound button is located between the choose sound from library and upload sound from file buttons in the new sound menu. You can delete a sound by clicking on it in the left hand column and then clicking the x in the top right corner. The record button is on the far right adjacent to the stop button in the sound menu located above the microphone volume slider.
    1. Click the Sounds tab.
    2. Delete the pop sound (or whatever sound is shown) by clicking on the x.
    3. Click the microphone icon.
    4. Click the circle above microphone volume to record and click again to stop recording. The triangle allow you to hear your recording. If you do not like the recording, delete it and record again.
    5. Use the play sound__ and play sound __ until done blocks in the scripts.
    6. If this picture appears, student should press “allow”.
A screenshot of a prompt indicating that a flash program is attempting to use the camera and microphone.
  1. Pass out Checklist for students to complete as they create their story.
  2. Allow time for students to share their Animal Story with others.


  • If students do not need as much help, allow them to illustrate their Animal story by starting with a new Scratch activity instead of using the partially completed activity prepared for them. They will choose any 2 sprites from the sprite library to use in their Animal story. They will use the categories to find the blocks needed for the scripts for each sprite. They will create one backdrop and select the other.
  • Let students use a forever block and a change color effect by 25 block to make a sprite forever change colors on the stage.
  • Allow students to create an additional story.


  • You can link the blocks each sprite will need. Students will click show to make the sprite appear on the stage and then record their voices. They can create their own backdrop.
  • If possible, as for volunteers or older students to help students while they record their voices.

Common Core:

1.OA.1, 1.OA.2, 1.OA.3, 1.OA.6, 1.OA.7, 1. NBT.2, 1.NBT.3, 1.NBT.4, 1.NBT.6, 1.MD.3, 1.G.1 SMP 1, SMP 2, SMP 3, SMP 4, SMP 5, SMP 6, SMP 7, SMP8

CS/CT Standards:

CS—Creating a simple program.

Champaign Unit 4 School DistrictKenwood Elementary School: bright stars, bright futures
College of Education at IllinoisUChicago STEM EducationNSF
These lessons were written by Judy Rocke based on lessons developed at Kenwood Elementary School in the Champaign Unit 4 school district. Funding was provided by the National Science Foundation under award number 1542828. These lessons are intended to be used alongside the EM-4 curriculum.

Lessons prepared as web documents in Summer 2017. Contact us for updated lesson plan materials.