Make it Digital! - Digital Promise Global

Make it Digital!

Objective: Students will make a digital recreation of something from the real world.

Tools/Materials Required: Computer with internet access

Depth of Knowledge: Skills and Concepts

Teacher’s notes are in purple. For the student’s version, see Make it Digital! Student Guide.


Prepare: Learn about the key ideas in this project

We use computers and phones for almost everything: communicating, entertainment, shopping, learning, working, and so much more. Many of the apps and websites we use are digital recreations of things in the real world.

In this project, your challenge is to create an animation, game, or simulation that recreates something in the real world.

Special note: Whatever you choose to recreate, it should have some sort of behavior or change over time. If you are interested in creating a still image, take a look at One Thousand Words.

Talk with a friend to decide what you want to recreate in this project. Consider a few starting points for your conversation:

  • What’s your favorite animated movie? Did it recreate everyday things, imaginary things, or some of each?
  • What’s an example of an app or website that recreates something you do in everyday life?
  • What’s an example of a game that simulates a game in the real world? How closely does that game match the real thing?

Practice: Try as many activities as you would like to build your skills

Follow the Getting Started with Scratch tutorial to learn about the basic building blocks of coding with Scratch.

Choose a “microworld” and try another tutorial to go deeper with Scratch.

Try the Video Game Remix project to remix an existing game or project on Scratch and make it your own.

These practice activities all use Scratch, which is a visual programming language for creating games, animations, and simulations. If your students prefer to use another tool for creating similar projects, encourage them to teach and support each other!


Produce: Dig into the project and make it your own!

Choose something to recreate, and then jump in! As you are working on your project, revisit the real thing to make sure that your digital version is a relatively close match. Keep the following questions in mind to make sure that you are staying on the right track:

  • What is a specific example of the thing I am recreating?
  • How closely does my recreation resemble the real thing?

Note: Do not spend too much time worrying about perfecting the computer graphics of your recreation — it is very difficult even for professionals to create photo-realistic images! Instead, focus on making the graphics effective enough to convey what you intend to recreate. (As a reminder that your graphics don’t need to be perfect, think of the crude graphics of early video games or “8-bit” graphics of some contemporary games. Even if the visuals are simple, they can still be good enough!)

When you are ready, share your recreation with friends and classmates. Can they tell what real-world thing you have recreated?


Produced by Digital Promise Global, with thanks to the Open Educational Resources listed throughout this guide. Distributed to Learning Studios schools as part of HP, Inc. and Microsoft’s Reinvent the Classroom.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. You may share this project or modified versions of it under this same license.

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