Using Pirate Plunder to develop children’s abstraction skills in Scratch

ROSE, Simon, HABGOOD, Jacob and JAY, Tim (2019). Using Pirate Plunder to develop children’s abstraction skills in Scratch. In: CHI EA 19 extended abstracts of the 2019 CHI conference on human factors in computing systems. ACM.

Rose_Using_Pirate_Plunder(AM).pdf - Accepted Version
All rights reserved.

Download (4MB) | Preview
Official URL:
Link to published version::


Scratch users often struggle to detect and correct ‘code smells’ (bad programming practices) such as duplicated blocks and large scripts, which can make programs difficult to understand and debug. These ‘smells’ can be caused by a lack of abstraction, a skill that plays a key role in computer science and computational thinking. We created Pirate Plunder, a novel educational block-based programming game, that aims to teach children to reduce smells by reusing code in Scratch. This work describes an experimental study designed to measure the efficacy of Pirate Plunder with children aged 10 and 11. The findings were that children who played the game were then able to use custom blocks (procedures) to reuse code in Scratch, compared to non-programming and programming control groups.

Item Type: Book Section
Additional Information: CHI 2019 Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, 4th - 9th May 2019, Glasgow, UK
Uncontrolled Keywords: computational thinking; Scratch; Pirate Plunder; visual programming; computer science education; abstraction
Identification Number:
SWORD Depositor: Symplectic Elements
Depositing User: Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited: 21 Mar 2019 16:43
Last Modified: 18 Mar 2021 05:18

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics