Curriculum Connection

How I Use Creative Coding to Practice Pronouns

Posted by jglassman on

Teaching the difference between object and subject pronouns can be tricky! In this guest blog post, Rebecca Braungart, an ELA teacher in Buffalo, NY, describes how she uses Creative Coding to help her 6th graders practice pronouns.

I’m always looking for creative and meaningful ways to teach grammar skills. For example, we use pronouns all the time in our everyday conversations and writing, but students find it challenging to identify the difference between subject and object pronouns. This year, instead of using my go-to games and grammar programs, I had my students use BrainPOP’s Creative Coding with Scratch to produce scenes incorporating subject and object pronouns in meaningful ways. While, we often use Make-a-Movie as a project tool and they use Scratch  in other classes, I’ve wanted to find an opportunity to code in ELA class, and this was perfect!

The main learning objective was to use three subject and three object pronouns correctly in a “real” conversation. Exploring and practicing basic lines of code was a secondary objective. The assignment was to use at least two sprites and one background and to code at least six lines of conversation and four additional “active” commands, equaling 10 lines of code.  We did a sample together on my account and they were able to see how to space out the lines of code to have it run smoothly. I encouraged them to ask questions and let them decide whether to work individually or with a partner based on their comfort level.

Unlike traditional drill activities that practice skills in isolation, with Creative Coding my students had the freedom to create settings and choose their own characters. Their final project served as an authentic measure of their knowledge in a real-life setting, which is the true test of understanding and application!

Although some students were apprehensive at first, once they began working, the self-exploration and collaboration occurred naturally in our flexible seating classroom and sparked more creativity, liveliness, and sharing.  It was a wonderful experience for everyone and such a joy to watch them design original projects!