Thursday, March 31, 2016

Bringing Coding & Gaming To Nursery Rhymes Through Minecraft, Scratch, and a Harmony Project With Cantata Learning & My Friend Sheridyn

This is my friend Sheridyn.

She is a 5th graders at Van Meter Community School.  I was lucky enough to be her teacher librarian for four years.  She is also in Hagan's class so I get to keep up with her that way too.

Sheridyn is also a young expert in coding and creating digital games using Scratch and Minecraft.

Listen to Sheridyn as she shares her passion with us and how she got involved in coding.  

She started in third grade when we celebrate Hour of Code for the first time in our library.  After that experience, she took it from there learning how to create, write, and share lots of game she created in Scratch and other coding programs.  
You can find Sheridyn at catdoghorse132 on Scratch.  

It is so fun to look at over 220 projects that she has created and shared.  
One of my favorite is called Dirty Paws.  I love watching this little animation she made about a mouse.  I think she definitely has a future in working for an animation company as she shared in the video above.  

And any chance I have to work with Sheridyn I jump at the opportunity. I learn so much from her and love the collaboration we get to do together.  
As I was planning project ideas for the new Cantata Learning Harmony Project, I thought it would be really fun to get Sheridyn involved with this one.
It is called the Rhythms and Rhymes Global Project and we will be using the wonderful Cantata nursery rhyme titles in this one.  You can see all of these titles here
Also, Scratch Day is coming up on May 14, 2016. This is the perfect time to try something new by connecting children's literature and nursery rhymes to coding and gaming.  
Today during Sheridyn's and I brainstorming meeting, we picked a couple that would work for both Scratch and Minecraft. 
We picked Three Little Kittens and Miss Mary Mack to use with Scratch.  She thought those would be two interesting ones to recreate and retell within Scratch....
and she can even add the music which she can download from the Cantata Learning website under the Music tab
She can even download the instrumentals if she wants to write and record her own words for either game.  
Then we talked about Minecraft.  

Within Minecraft, Sheridan will be able to build a beautiful, imaginative game by placing and breaking blocks.  The link above is for Minecraft and....
this is the link for MinecraftEdu.  I love how these two tools are changing the way our children are learning through creativity, exploration and discovery. 
Now just imagine what Sheridyn and all young people can create by using stories such as There was An Old Lady and Little Billy Bison to recreate within Minecraft.  

The character could take an adventure through Minecraft just like the Old Lady takes with all of the characters of the nursery rhyme.  To show the sequence and setting of the story, actions of the characters, and play on the words would be so engaging for them.  

And what about if Sheridyn took this nursery rhyme and wrote a brand new one to create in Minecraft....perhaps it is about Sheridyn the Game Creator! I would love to follow her story and adventure through Minecraft and a song.  

When we were talking today, Sheridan and I thought she could play the song in the background and record her journey through the Minecraft story she is going to create.  I love that idea!  

Remember...she could download the instrumental and use that in her story too. 
One title that we are going to take a closer look at to consider for the Minecraft story is On Top of Old Smoky.  Sheridyn could not only retell the story, but she could also tie in Geography (which is perfect for Minecraft), National Park Services 100th Birthday, and...
the the way the main character took a selfie of himself with Big Foot.  

Wouldn't it be great if Sheridyn could work in using selfies that she took into an adventure, scavenger hunt type nursery rhyme of her own.  

We will be sharing the Nursery Rhythms and Rhymes Global Harmony Project in a few days with all of you.  Until then, please check out the past and present Harmony Projects here

I can't wait to share what Sheridyn creates in Scratch and Minecraft....We hope this inspires you to try this with your students too. Then we can have the students share and play their nursery rhyme games with one another all around the world. 

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