Grade 3

Characterization Through Coding

Empowered Learner, Computational Thinker, Creative Communicator
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Students will apply their knowledge of characterization by coding a sample character’s thoughts, actions, and words.

Note: Lesson credit to Google CS First Curriculum

Students will:

  • Be able to demonstrate the understanding of characterization by coding a character's thoughts, actions, and words.

Vocabulary Words:

  1. Event: Use event blocks (like “when flag clicked”) to trigger a series of codes.
  2. Sequence: Sequence at least 3 “say”  blocks to start their story (by selecting a character).
  3. Motion Block: Use motion blocks (like “glide to X Y“) to personalize their story.
  4. Wait Blocks: Use wait blocks to construct a dialogue between two sprites.

To prepare for this lesson:

  • Review the Characterization Lesson Plan from Google. 
  • Set up a computer access plan (students could work with a partner).
  • Ensure sound works for the video.
  • Share the activity link
  • Determine if you want students to have Scratch accounts to save their work and more easily share it for feedback

See Accommodations Page and Charts on the site in the Teacher Resources. 

Directions for this activity:

  1. Watch together as a class the two introductory videos in the CS First Lesson about characterization and coding.
  2. Have students imagine why their character doesn’t have their assignment finished and what they might do to solve the problem. Have them brainstorm a list of possibilities:
    • Feelings
    • Thoughts
    • Actions
  3. Open Scratch (sign-in recommended).
  4. Watch video tutorials and then follow the directions to continue adding elements to your character
  5. Take the Survey (from CS First lesson). 
  6. Have students write a short story to go along with their coding project. 
  7. Students can type a short story and a link to their animation in a shared Google Slide Deck. 
    • Create the Google Slide deck and share with the students. 
  8. Allow students to view each other's work and answer questions:
    • How would you describe the character?
    • Give three adjectives to describe.

Different options for assessing the students:

  • Observations
  • Check for understanding
  • Create a rubric based on the coding requirements and the elements of a character.

MITECS: Michigan adopted the "ISTE Standards for Students" called MITECS (Michigan Integrated Technology Competencies for Students) in 2018.

Empowered Learner
1c. Students use technology to seek feedback that informs and improves their practice and to demonstrate their learning in a variety of ways.

Computational Thinker
5d. Students understand how automation works and use algorithmic thinking to develop a sequence of steps to create and test automated solutions.

Creative Communicator
6d. Students publish or present content that customizes the message and medium for their intended audiences.


Device: PC, Chromebook, Mac, iPad

Browser: Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Edge, ALL

Apps. Extensions, Add-ons

Scratch Project

Student Link

Teacher Lesson Plan


Explore the concept of character traits and feelings.

Code a character from history you have been learning about. Show his/her thoughts and actions in a given situation

This task card was created by Kaelyn Bullock, Melvindale-Northern Allen Park, March 2020.