Scratch Day Group Activity

Interactive Dance Party

By Saskia Leggett

No celebration is complete without plenty of dancing. At Scratch Day @ MIT, we always make sure to include a version of the interactive dance party project. During this activity, participants can code a dancing sprite alone or in pairs, add it to a communal dance party project, and watch it dance with other sprites from the group. Then display the Scratch project on a wall so that others can watch, and even dance along too!

  1. Start by designing your space. You’ll need an area for people to program their sprites in Scratch, a large screen, TV, or monitor to display the collaborative project, and speakers to hear the music. You could set up laptops or ask participants to bring their own. If space permits, consider creating a small area for people to dance, too.
  2. Create a project like this one with a dancing sprite and accompanying music, and project it on your screen. This will be the base project that you’ll add sprites to. You can also incorporate video sensing blocks to allow people to dance with the sprites on screen.
  3. You can introduce participants to the activity by demonstrating how to create a dancing sprite (or even by doing a dance move to demonstrate), or informing participants of the instructions individually as they enter the space.
  4. Consider using the “Let’s Dance” Activity Cards to help inspire participants to use different scripts to change their sprites’ movements and looks. You can fan these cards out on the tables or hand them to participants as needed.
  5. When participants have coded their dancing sprites, they can share their projects and add them to a studio.
  6. A volunteer from the group can open up the project in the studio, add the dancing sprite in the project to their Backpack, and insert it into the group project (projected on the screen).

Adapt it: For larger groups, sometimes too many sprites in the same space can get overcrowded. Consider setting a time limit for each sprite so that all participants can see their sprites in action on the big screen.

Remix it: What other interactive activities can you create with a similar setup? We’ve remixed this activity to be a “cacophonous concert”, where participants code sprites that make sounds. You can also connect Makey Makeys to the project for participants to interact directly with the sprites to make them move and make sounds.

For other detailed activity ideas, check out the post How do you design Scratch Day activities?

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