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Activity : Initials

Ninja Instructions | Mentor Notes


Let's see if you can use the Pen feature of Scratch to program the computer to draw out your initials. For example, if I were to do my initials (JBS) I might end up with something like the following:

While this activity can be completed using direction based movement, we would like you explore coordinate based movement.


20-40 minutes


  • The base requirements for this project are that you write a program that:
  • Runs when the green flag icon is pressed
  • Begins by “erasing” the screen.
  • Uses blocks from the menu to raise and lower the pen as the program runs.
  • Moves the sprite around on the screen using the coordinate based blocks in the menu. NOTE: We would suggest using coordinate based movement for this rather than direction based movement. That means, that you should use blocks such as and
  • Ends the program with your initials on the screen.


  • You may certainly prepare your program with the base requirements listed above. However, you should feel free to explore issues of color and pen size to create a more interesting project.
  • Don't forget about the tips menu that you should have explored in the Step-by-Step Activity. You can explore this for assistance on using the pen.
  • In reality this probably sounds easier than it actually is. Before you start programming you might get out a piece of graph paper and plan out your program. Think about the coordinates of the stage (-240 to +240 for width, -180 to +180 for height) and how/where the letters that you are drawing would go on the stage. Think about the movement from point to point and when you need to raise or lower the pen.

Things to think about when you are done

  • What did you learn about the coordinate system of the stage in Scratch?
  • What did you learn about using the pen?
  • What other programs could you write that use the pen to do something fun and creative?

Sharing your project in the studio


This project is based on materials originally created by Ben Schafer at UNI.

lev1/act_initials_s.1425662578.txt.gz · Last modified: 2015/03/06 11:22 by jbschafer