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Scratch Programming in Easy Steps

Book cover: Scratch Programming in Easy Steps "A brilliant introduction to one of the most widely used programming languages in UK schools, which enables children to bring their ideas to life with almost startling ease... The explanatory text is beautifully clear, with jargon kept for when it's absolutely necessary."
- Teach Primary Magazine.

Scratch is a programming language that's widely used in schools and universities, and is the perfect first starting point for people of all ages who want to learn to program. It's designed to enable you to be creative in making your own games, animations and other programs, while it shields you from the complexity of many other programming languages. Scratch has recently found a whole new audience on the Raspberry Pi.

Scratch Programming in Easy Steps will show you how you can use Scratch to build games and other programs. Each chapter includes step by step examples you can build and experiment with, and the book covers the full range of Scratch's capabilities.

The 2nd Edition of Scratch Programming in Easy Steps has been updated to cover Scratch 3. As well as updated code, guidance, and screenshots throughout, the new edition includes:

  • Coverage of the Sense HAT extension for Raspberry Pi, so you can easily control a grid of LEDs and use motion sensors and a joystick for sprite control. The example game Feeding Time uses the LED grid, tilt sensors and joystick on the Sense HAT.
  • Coverage of the micro:bit extension, so you can see how to use a micro:bit device to control sprites on the screen. The Balloon Floater game challenges you to tilt your micro:bit to float the balloon through a jaggedy cave.
  • Coverage of the speech extension, used in the Evil Robot and Penguin Patter projects.
  • Redesigned Hangman game, now called Evil Robot, using new Scratch blocks and enhanced graphics.
  • More guidance on creating your own sprites using vector mode, in the Evil Robot, Space Swarm and Super Dodgeball projects.
  • Greater use of the My Blocks feature for making your own blocks to structure and test projects. (The previous edition prioritised backwards compatibility with Scratch 1.4, which didn't support My Blocks).
  • New project Space Opera shows you how to use the new Sound and Music blocks to create an instrument, as well as demonstrating graphic effects.
  • Gran Ama's Anagrams Quiz is a new addition to the popular shorties section, which includes seven short Scratch projects to build and customise.
  • Guidance for using touchscreen devices where practical, such as the iPad and other tablets. The new Space Opera project was introduced to enhance touch compatibility. Games such as Quiz Break, Evil Robot and Gran Ama's Anagrams Quiz work fine on tablets. The arcade games can't be played on touch devices, though.

Here's a short introduction called "How to use this book" that I removed from the book to make room for one more project!

If you're looking for more fun projects to build and customise, my book Cool Scratch Projects in Easy Steps is a perfect companion to this title.

Buy the book

Preview the Scratch projects in the book

screenshot from Scratch Programming in Easy Steps

Take your first steps with Scratch by programming the cat to walk.

The book in brief

Book Title Scratch Programming in Easy Steps
Book Author Sean McManus
Publisher In Easy Steps
ISBN 978-1-84078-612-5 (1st Edition)
978-1-84078-859-4 (2nd Edition)
Pages 216

Free PDF sampler of Scratch Programming in Easy Steps

Free PDF Sampler

Read the Magpi reviews

Scan of review from The Magpi

The book was reviewed in issue 21 of The Magpi. They concluded: "It is written in plain English, is fully illustrated and is printed in full colour. If you are looking to start programming in Scratch then this will surely be a perfect addition to your bookshelf."

The book was also featured in issue 34 of The MagPi, with the following review:

A well thought-out book for the young and new to coding, which can be confidently given to those without programming parents to support them, and will get the parents programming, too!

Try the projects in the book

Visit my Scratch resource centre

Scratch cat says: Visit Sean's Scratch Resources

I've collected together all my bonus Scratch resources and tutorials at www.sean.co.uk/scratch.

Find my 10-block Scratch demos, Scratch tutorials from The MagPi magazine, free sprite packs, free book chapters and more!

For more information on my Scratch books, visit the Scratch Programming in Easy Steps and Cool Scratch Projects in Easy Steps homepages. You can also learn how to use Scratch on the Raspberry Pi in Raspberry Pi For Dummies.


© Sean McManus. All rights reserved.

Visit www.sean.co.uk for free chapters from Sean's coding books (including Mission Python, Scratch Programming in Easy Steps and Coder Academy) and more!

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