Lesson Plan
Game Design

Overview

In Activity 8 of CS First Game Design, club members create a game with a side scrolling background (similar to the popular game Flappy Bird). In this game, the player sprite moves up and down to avoid obstacles. This club ends with certificate distribution and a closing reflective discussion.

Volunteer Focus

  • Ensure that club members find success in the final activity and that they leave CS First having had a positive final experience.
  • Successfully close the club by handing out certificates and thanking club members for their participation.

Agenda Summary

This agenda is designed for a 60-minute lesson. To customize the agenda for clubs of a different length, visit www.cs-first.com/dashboard. and use the Agenda Timer.

Time (mins) Agenda Item
5 Introduction
3 View Showcase Projects
2 Transition to Computer Time
4 Watch Video 1 and Create
6 Watch Video 2 and Create
10 Watch Video 3 and Create
10 Watch 4 and Create
0 Choose Add-Ons and Create
2 CS First Reflection
4 Watch Wrap-Up Video
4 Share Projects
6 Certificate Distribution and Final Thanks

Topics Introduced

  • Scrolling backgrounds

Topics Reinforced

  • If Statements
  • Random Operators
  • Motion Blocks
  • Key Press Events
Introduction (5 minutes)
Directions Student Instructions
1. Greet members at the door as they arrive.
(Show script)

Hi [name]. Welcome back!

2. Ask members to pick up their passports, then sit at an empty computer and log in.
(Show script)

Everyone please pick up your passports and go to a computer. Sign in to CS First and Scratch. Once you have logged in, please turn off your monitors.

3. Once all members are seated and logging in to their computers, privately ask members who are sitting alone to move to a computer near other members.
(Show script)

Hi [name]. Today you’re going to need to be sitting near others to work on this project. Would you mind moving to a seat where you’ll be able to interact with other club members?

4. Use the silent signal to get member attention.
(Show script)

[Silent signal] I need everyone’s attention up here, please.

5. Have all members turn off monitors and remove headphones before starting. It is important that you enforce this rule or members will use the computers instead of interacting.
(Show script)

Everyone please turn off your monitors, so we can begin the introduction [wait for all members to turn off monitors].

6. Review previous club: Quest Game.
(Show script)

Can someone please raise their hand and tell me what we worked on last club?

7. Introduce the activity: Cave Surfing.
(Show script)

In this activity, you'll create a game with a scrolling background. Raise your hand if you've ever heard of or seen the game Flappy Bird. [wait] Great! Well, Flappy Bird uses a scrolling backdrop to create the illusion of forward movement. The game you create in this activity will feature a sprite that must fly though a cave without touching the walls. It will require the use of events, movement, "repeat" blocks, and if statements. It will also introduce a new computer science concept: If-else statements.

  1. Pick up your passport.
  2. Choose a computer.
  3. Log in to your computer.
  4. Turn off your monitor.
View Showcase Projects (3 minutes)
Directions Student Instructions
[For instructions on finding and selecting showcases, see the "Preparation" section of this club plan. Remember that club members can opt out of having their projects shown. If the selected club members do not want to showcase their projects, you may ask for one or two volunteers to show their projects.]
  1. Transition to showcase.
    (Show script)

    [Pointing at agenda] Before we begin programming this activity, let's view the member showcases selected at the end of last club. We will play each project, look at the code, and then applaud how awesome the project is. Let's look at the first project!

  2. Run first project and discuss.
    (Show script)

    Someone please raise your hand and tell me what types of blocks you think might be used in this project?

  3. Look at code by clicking the "See Inside" button.
    (Show script)

    Let's take a look at the code used in this project. [Show code and mention a few of the blocks used in the project.]

  4. Cheer and clap.
    (Show script)

    Wow! Amazing! That was a great project! Let’s give them a great big round of applause!

  5. Repeat steps for any additional projects.
  1. Enjoy projects from last club!
  2. Make some noise!
Transition to Computer Time (2 minutes)
Directions Student Instructions
  1. Introduce computer time.
    (Show script)

    [show agenda] Now, we're going to move into the computer time.

  2. Remind members to use a sticky note if they have a question. [optional]  
    (Show script)

    If you have a question during this time, ask your neighbors for help. If they can’t help you, put a sticky note on your monitor and, I will come help you.

  3. Remind members that at the end of this activity you will pick a few projects to share next club.
    (Show script)

    Remember that at the end of this activity we will pick a few people’s projects to show at the beginning of next club.

  4. Have members turn on monitors and navigate to CS First website.
    (Show script)

    Please turn on your monitors, go to the CS First website, and start watching the first video.

  5. If there are new club members, provide them with your club code and ask them to go to cs-first.com/go to get sign-in information.
    (Show script)

    If today is your first time in this club, please begin by going to cs-first.com/go. Click "Enter Club Code," then follow the directions to get a sign-in and password.

  1. Go to cs-first.com.
  2. Sign in with the username and password from your club pass.
  3. Start watching the first video.
  4. If it's your first day, welcome! Go to www.cs-first.com/go and click "Enter Club Code" to get started. Ask your Guru for your club's code.
Watch Video 1 and Create (4 minutes)
Directions Student Instructions
  • After watching this video, club members should open the starter project and add a player sprite. Encourage club members to move on from this step quickly.
  1. Open the starter project.
  2. Remix the project.
  3. Sign in to Scratch.
  4. Add a New Sprite (preferably one that flies).
Watch Video 2 and Create (6 minutes)
Directions Student Instructions
  • In this step, club members will program the cave sprites to scroll across the screen. Encourage club members to tinker with the value of "Change Distance Traveled" to ensure that the backdrops scroll at an appropriate speed for their game.
  • If club members lose their player sprite behind the cave sprites, instruct them to select the player sprite, click the "looks" menu, and click the "go to front" block to make the sprite appear in front of the caves.
  1. Make the player 1 sprite move across the screen.
  2. Make the sprite keep moving across the screen.
  3. Reset the sprite’s position at the start of each game.
Watch Video 3 and Create (10 minutes)
Directions Student Instructions
  • A common mistake during this step is to select an "if" statement rather than an "if-else." If you notice that club members do this, allow them to first attempt to debug the problem on their own, and only step in if they ask for help or they're falling behind.
  1. Add an if-else statement and a "space key pressed?" block to your program that makes the sprite move up and down when the user presses and releases the spacebar. 
  2. Program the if condition to move y by 5, and the else condition to move y by -5.
  3. Add costume changes to make the sprite look more realistic as it flies up and down.
Watch 4 and Create (10 minutes)
Directions Student Instructions
  • This video does not give step-by-step instructions for how to program this step. Some club members may find this step easy, while others may find it difficult. Encourage club members to work together on this step. It may help to remind club members that that they should use "if statements" and that the cave walls all have a black border (for the losing condition). Remind club members to approach the problem one step at a time, and to try to program either a winning or losing condition first.
  1. Program a winning condition for the player sprite. (hint: use if statements and color sensing blocks)
  2. Program a losing condition for the player sprite. (hint: the cave walls all have a black border)
  3. Program the game to reset when someone wins or loses. (hint: use a stop-all block)
Choose Add-Ons and Create (0 minutes)
Directions Student Instructions
During this time, members customize their projects by trying some add-ons. Add-ons allow members to explore programming concepts and features as they follow the guidance and instruction in the videos.
  1. Walk around, and encourage members to try the add-ons that interest them.  
    (Show script)

    It looks like you've finished the core videos. That's great! Move to the next page to learn about different ways to customize your project.

  2. Help members navigate the add-ons menu.
    (Show script)

    "When you click "watch," the add-on will open. To go back to the add-on selection screen, click on the X at the top of the video."

  3. If you notice that members have not saved or shared their projects (You will see a "See project page" button in the top right corner of the project editor on projects members have shared.), encourage them to do so before they continue working on add-ons.
    (Show script)

    I see that you're working on the add-ons. Be sure to save your project, and click "Share" to make it available to the Scratch community.

  1. Click on any of the boxes to go to that add-on video.
  2. When you finish, come back to the add-ons Screen, and try another add-on!
CS First Reflection (2 minutes)
Directions Student Instructions
  1. Get everyone’s attention using the silent signal.
    (Show script)

    [silent signal] Can I have everyone’s attention up here, please?

  2. Ask club members to click the next arrow until they reach the reflection page, then to complete the reflection.
    (Show script)

    Now it's time for the CS First club reflection and wrap-up video. Click the 'next' arrow, and complete the reflection. Then, click the next arrow and watch the wrap-up video. While you do this, I'll walk around and hand out participation badges.

  3. Walk around, and ensure that club members are transitioning to the reflection page.
  4. Give out participation badges (stickers).
  1. Complete the CS First Reflection.
Watch Wrap-Up Video (4 minutes)
Directions Student Instructions
  1. Prompt club members to complete the club reflection, then move on to the wrap-up video.
    (Show script)

    After you've completed your reflection, click the 'next' arrow to watch the wrap-up video. While you're finishing these final steps, I'll continue to walk around and award the participation badges for this activity.

  2. Ask club members to write a shout-out for a clubmate. [optional] 
    (Show script)

    After watching the wrap-up video, write a positive note to a clubmate on your sticky note. Thank someone who helped you, or call out a great project. Once you've written a shout-out, come place it on the G+ board.

  3. Continue to circulate around the club, and pass out participation badges.
  4. When the Agenda Timer indicates that 30 seconds remain in this section, remind club members about the time.
    (Show script)

    You have thirty seconds remaining until we begin sharing projects.

Write a G+ shout-out!
Share Projects (4 minutes)
Directions Student Instructions
  1. Tell club members to return to Scratch, and click the "share" button.
    (Show script)

    [Silent signal] Please return to your Scratch project. If you haven't already, please name your project, and, if you’d like, share it by clicking the "share" button in Scratch. Sharing you project will allow any user on the Scratch website to view it. If you can't find the "share" button, ask a neighbor for help. Once you've shared your project in Scratch write a description that explains how to use it. Then, in one minute, we'll begin sharing projects with our neighbors.

  2. Ask the club to begin sharing their projects with the person or people sitting next to them.
    (Show script)

    Everyone please begin sharing your projects with the people sitting near you. During this time, I shouldn't see anyone working on their projects.

  3. Walk around and encourage club members who haven’t shared their projects (the share button will still be visible in the top-right corner of the screen) to do so. If club members don’t wish to share, that’s okay. Ensure that all club members are engaging in this social aspect of the club by either sharing their project with a neighbor, or talking to other club members about their project.
  1. Click the "Share" button in Scratch.
  2. Share your project with a neighbor.
Certificate Distribution and Final Thanks (6 minutes)
Directions Student Instructions
  1. Get members’ attention.
    (Show script)

    [Silent Signal] Can I please have everyone’s monitors off and eyes up here?

  2. G+ shout-outs.
    (Show script)

    If you haven't already done so, it's time to bring up your G+ shout-out and post it to the G+ community poster. [wait] Awesome, I’m going to read a few of these shout-outs [read 3 shout-outs]. Take a look at the shout-outs that people wrote on your way out of the room.

  3. Transition into certificate distribution.
    (Show script)

    For all your hard work in this club, each of you will receive a certificate for your successful completion of CS First Game Design. When I call your name, please stand up, walk to the front, shake both Gurus' hands, and receive your certificate. Please hold your applause until everyone's names have been called, then we will all clap and cheer together.

  4. Call up individuals to receive their certificate, shake their hand and thank them for their participation.
  5. After all individuals have been called up, ask for a round of applause for everyone.
    (Show script)

    Can we have a round of applause for everyone?

  6. Ask the reflection questions below.
    (Show script)

    Let's all take a moment to reflect on what you've learned and enjoyed in CS First.

  7. Remind club members that they can continue to work in Scratch and seek out CS opportunities after this club ends.
    (Show script)

    Remember that after this club ends you can continue to work in Scratch. Your CS First username and password are yours to keep.

  8. Remind club members to look for CS courses in high school and college.
    (Show script)

    If you've enjoyed what you've worked on in this club, you should seek out computer science courses and clubs in high school and college. With more exposure to computer science, you may find that computer science is a career that you want to pursue.

  9. Tell club members that they get to keep their passports.
    (Show script)

    When we exit today, you can take your passport home with you. The headphones, however, should stay in the room.

  10. Ask the class to say thank-you to the program host.
    (Show script)

    Before we exit, let's all say thank-you to our program host for supporting this club.

  11. Thank the club members for participating.
    (Show script)

    Sample: Thank you all for participating in this club. I had a lot of fun and I learned a lot. I would like to wish you all the best in your future computer science endeavors!

  12. Dismiss the club.
    (Show script)

    Once I see that all computers are shut off and the headphones are wrapped, we'll exit. Remember to take your passports home with you!

  13. High-five club members on their way out.
Reflection Questions:
  • What was your favorite program that you made in this club and why?
  • What was the most surprising thing that you were able to do?
  • What was the most important thing that you learned about computer science?
  • What do computer scientists do?
  • Does anyone have any questions for me about what we've worked on in this club or about computer science in general?
  1. Participate in discussion.
  2. Clean up computer station.
  3. Wrap headphones.
  4. If instructed to by your Guru, shut down computers.
  1. Clap for other club members as they receive their CS First certificates!

After members have exited the room: