Task 7, Option 2: Coding a favourite song using at least three instruments on Scratch – Upper Primary Years
I got this idea from my daughter’s music class last term. This classroom activity involves having students recreating a song of their choice on Scratch using the different instrument options. The activity could be adjusted according to year level addressing the sub-strand, exploring ideas and improvising with ways to represent ideas. So for instance, my daughter chose to codeTwinkle Twinkle Little Star onto Scratch using at least five instruments.
Digital Technologies link:
Year 5 – ACTDIP020
Yeart 6 – ACTDIP020
Design and Technologies link:
Year 5 – Define a problem, and set of sequenced steps, with users making a decision to create a solution for a given task (WATPPS27)
Year 6 – Define a problem, and a set of sequenced steps, with users making decisions to create a solution for a given task (WATPPS33)
Yesterday, we attended the annual One Big Voice show at the RAC Arena. During the show, they emphasised the role of music in mental health. Therefore, this activity could also be linked to a health lesson under the being healthy, safe and active and contributing to healthy and active communities sub-strands. The focus could be on how music could be way to cope with changes associated with puberty and preventative measures to maintain a healthy sense of well-being. The specific curriculum links are:
Differentiation could be through choice of music or number of instruments used.
The task could be used as a summative assessment on how students bring together the different elements of music to re-create a familiar song and make it their own.
Safe, responsible and ethical use constitutes a high level of self regulation (UDL Guideline for engagement – internalising) as these students are upper primary. This is important because Scratch is web-based. I would perhaps brainstorm what safe, responsible and ethical use looks like and feels like before starting the activity.
Reflecting on my capacity to teach using visual learning environments, I would say that my technological content knowledge (TCK) needs strengthening in this area. However, because I have encountered Scratch Jr. when I brought my children to Coder Dojo a couple of years back and through their ongoing use of this learning environment in school, I can confidently say that it will be an easy gap to close in terms of strengthening my technological content knowledge in this area. I will need, however, to explore other types of learning environments in order for my quality of knowledge to become multi-structural and abstract.
In evaluating the tool and the classroom activity in terms of the UDL Framework, it is a great tool to use for engagement (recruit interest). Perhaps to improve the task, introduce an element of collaboration to help push for persistence in problem-solving. When teaching how to use the learning environment (representation), modelling must be highly visual and scaffolded but provide opportunities for students to explore afterwards.