Kim Wilkens
Computer Science, Cross-Curricular
Material Type:
Activity/Lab, Lesson Plan
Upper Primary, Middle School
CS, Computer Science, VA
Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike
Media Formats:
Downloadable docs, Video

Education Standards

Virtual Field Trip in Scratch

Virtual Field Trip in Scratch


This performance task is a computer science (CS) integration project where your students will take you on a virtual field trip. It can be to a museum, a historical site, a modern destination, a book, a planet or really anywhere. Along the way, they will incorporate CS concepts into their projects including sequences, conditionals, and events to add interactivity. This is a great project for students to share their research and learning from a wide variety of subject areas like social studies, language arts, world languages, history, etc. This unit includes 5th grade standards for the Virginia CS Standards of Learning, but it can easily be adapted for younger and older students. The latest resources for this project can be found at


CS concepts covered

storyboarding, iterative design, decomposition, citing sources, events, conditions, debugging, collaboration

CS integration

Any subject area

What students will do

  • Design a virtual field trip through a storyboard

  • Debug and problem solve 

  • Provide feedback to each other and reflect

What students will figure out

  • How to rely on peers for debugging support

  • How to make an engaging and interactive field trip

  • That they can demonstrate their learning in another subject area by creating tech

Project at a Glance



Lesson Summary



45-60 min

Make a plan

Virtual Field Trip Planner 


45-60 min

Set up your sprites and backdrops



Exit ticket


45-60 min

Use events to switch scenes & sprites

Same as above


45-60 min

Use sensing to add interactivity

Same as above


45-60 min

Test, debug and wrap-up

Same as above


45-60 min

Feedback and reflect

Sticky notes for feedback, a place for journaling whether online or on paper

Materials preparation 

Part 1


Parts 2-5

  • Make sure Scratch is either installed or you/your students create accounts through an educator account in order for students to be able to save their work. Watch Scratch Desktop vs. Online video for more information.

  • If students are working in pairs, they will need to pick one account (online Scratch) or one computer (downloaded Scratch) to use through the duration of the project.

  • Some sort of exit ticket each day that can help you track engagement and troubleshoot problems.

1 - Make a plan

Create a prompt for the virtual field trip assignment. See example prompts created for an ancient Maya/Aztec/Inca civilizations virtual field trip assignment. Update and print out Virtual Field Trip plan.

2 - Set up your sprites and backdrops

Watch video tutorial and then work on gathering/creating your sprites & backdrop images.

  • Use Scratch paint tool or Piskel to create pixel image

  • Use google search to find images. Be sure to copy website URL into your Image Citations at the bottom of your planning doc

  • Add images into your Scratch project

3 - Use events to switch scenes & sprites

Finish gathering/creating images for your sprites & backdrop images. When you are done with that, watch the video tutorial and then start coding events into your project. You can find example code here.

4 - Use sensing to add interactivity

Finish working on switching scenes and sprites. When you are done with that, watch the video tutorial and then start coding interactively into your project. You can find example code here.

5 - Test, debug and wrap up

Wrap up your project by testing and debugging it. If you think you are done, find someone else who is too and give each other "I like" and "I wish" feedback. Be sure to be specific about the feedback, so it's easy to know what's working and what needs to be updated.

6 - Feedback and Reflection

Two important parts of creating a CS integration project is getting feedback and reflecting on the lessons learned. 

Feedback prompts:

Before starting the feedback session, spend a few minutes in a class discussion about feedback. What makes it useful? Specific and actionable. What makes it not useful? Generic and personal. 

  • I like ....

  • I wish ...

Reflection prompts:

  • What did I find challenging about this project?

  • What went well for me with this project?

  • What could I improve the next time I do a project like this?