Exploring the Blocks Palette – Scratch Programming

Before we start making a program, try experimenting with a few blocks to see what they do:



Sometimes I’ll show you what something looks like in both Scratch 2.0 and Scratch 1.4. The picture on the left, or top, will be Scratch 2.0. The one on the right, or bottom, will be Scratch 1.4.


Step 1
Click the Motion button above the Blocks Palette to show the Motion blocks. This button is selected when you first start Scratch








Step 2
In the Blocks Palette, click the move 10 steps block. The cat on the Stage moves in the direction it’s facing, to the right. Each time you click the block, the cat moves once. This block only changes the cat’s position, though: you won’t see its legs move





Scratch won’t let the cat disappear off the screen completely. If you use numbers that are too big, the sprite will stay at the edge of the screen.



The cat on the Stage, after I clicked Turn Clockwise 15 Degrees.

Step 3
The number of steps is how far across the screen you want the cat to move. Click the number 10 and change it to something else. Try 50 and when you click the block, the cat moves five times as far. Whenever you see a white hole in a block, you can change what’s in it


Step 4
Rotate the cat by clicking the turn clockwise 15 degrees block. To change the angle of the turn, change the number. Remember to click the block to actually make the cat turn. When you click the move 10 steps block next time, the cat walks in its new direction




Step 5
If the cat gets to the edge of the Stage, drag it back again with your mouse pointer. Click the cat, hold the mouse button down, move the cat, and then release the mouse button to drop it in place




All these blocks are explained later in the book, but for now it’s worth spending a few minutes exploring some of the commands you can give the cat.



Step 6
Click the Pen button above the Blocks Palette








Step 7
Click the pen down block. Now, if you click the Motion button and click the blocks to move the cat around, it will leave a line behind it wherever it goes. There is also a pen up block you can use to turn this effect off again

Step 8
If you’re using Scratch 2.0, click the Looks button above the Blocks Palette


Step 9
In Scratch 2.0, click the next costume block to see the cat’s legs move, so it appears to run on the spot. Costumes are just different pictures a sprite can have, and the cat has two that show its legs in different positions (see below)


In Scratch 1.4, the cat only has one costume, but I’ll show you how to add additional costumes in Chapter 5.












Want to know more?

For the complete Scratch Programming guide, all in the trusted In Easy Steps style, click here. In full-colour and straightforward, jargon-free language, Scratch Programming in Easy Steps is the perfect in-depth guide to both the new web-based Scratch 2.0, and Scratch 1.4, as used on the Raspberry Pi. Scratch makes it easy to create your own games, animations, music, art or applications. It’s the perfect way to learn programming because it takes away a lot of the complexity. That means you can focus on having great ideas and bringing them to life.


See also: Cool Scratch Projects – Space Mine 3DCool Scratch Projects – Digital Scoreboard, and our fun-filled title Cool Scratch Projects in easy steps!