Scaffold students through reverse engineering existing Scratch projects to help them gain competency in important concepts like message passing, variables, and event-based programming.

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  • Reverse engineering other students programs is a great opportunity for students to get exposure to other people’s code.
    • This gives students a chance to familiarize themselves with how to use blocks, how to read the code of others, how to develop informed opinions of other people’s work, and to extend the work of others.
  • Activity Prep:
    • Provide students with a worksheet that includes the the following tasks in order to provide them with the necessary scaffolding to explore the code deeply. The wil start this worksheet after they select a project.
      • Before looking at the code, write simple statements about what behavior you can observe in the game (Can you jump? increase the score? etc.).
        • After you’ve described all the behaviors, find the scripts that produce each behavior.
      • Pick a behavior in the game and try to make it faster or slower.
      • Pick a behavior in the game and try to change it more drastic!
      • Pick a variable.
        • Find all of the places in the code where a particular variable is used.
        • Write down a description of why that variable is important in the project and what values it stores at different times.
      • Make a list of all of the broadcast messages that the project uses.
        • Describe what functionality each broadcast message provides.
      • Look for unique blocks the original programmer made specifically for their game.
        • If you find a unique block open up the code and write a description explaining what each block does.
  • Activity:
    • Have students find a game project that they like on scratch.mit.edu.
    • Check to make sure they’ve found a project with enough complexity to it.
      • If a project is too simple, ask students to keep searching for another project.
    • When students have a project selected, have them click "See Inside" to explore the project deeper and complete the activities on their worksheet.
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Interview with Glenda Guerrero

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