Terry's Shoes

Grade All Grades • 60 minutes

Created by Caitlin Davey on 2/4/17


Terry Fox is a Canadian hero. One of Terry’s main goals was to create awareness around how cancer affects everyone, so that they become inspired to help find a cure for cancer. He gathered support around this cause by applying his strong spirit of determination and his story has inspired so many people around the world. In this lesson, students will have the opportunity to share their personal stories through the medium of art. Computer art is amazing because anyone can create something cool regardless of ability.

Prep Work

  • Check out our Teacher Guide for tips and tricks! 
  • Review the sample Scratch project to see what students will be building.
  • Brainstorm as a class several art techniques students have learned that they could try exploring in Scratch.
    • Examples could include: pointillism, pixel art, or collage. The pen tool in Scratch can be adjusted in colour and size to achieve some of these different techniques!
    • If students haven’t learn names of art techniques they can describe art they’ve seen and how they’d create a similar style in Scratch.

The Lesson

This lesson was made in partnership with

Thumb tfox logo


We’ve built a series of tutorial videos to help you learn how to teach Canada Learning Code lessons! Each lesson is broken down into its own video tutorial and accompanies the step by step instructions on the lessons page.

Historical Context Thumb historica canada logo

Have the students watch this Heritage Minute from Historica Canada about Terry Fox to give them some historical context about who he is and what he meant to Canada.


  • Have students share what they already know about Terry Fox (this could be facilitated through a think/pair/share or begin as an entire class discussion).
  • Watch Terry’s story.
  • What words come to mind when thinking about Terry’s journey and the impact he’s made?
  • What images do students think when discussing Terry Fox?
  • Terry’s prosthesis with one shoe may not come to mind at first but by looking at this image it begins to tell a story of the 5,373km Terry ran  across parts of Canada and the many lives he affected along the way.

  • Our own shoes can tell stories as well. Looking down at your feet what do you think your shoes say (besides smelly!).
  • In Scratch students will create a drawing of a shoe using different visual techniques to share their own unique stories.  
  • Some of techniques that can be used to create a visual message could be line thickness, colour choice, empty space, filled space, shapes, or styles.
  • Have students follow the introductory lesson that teaches mouse-mirroring, loops, and if/else statements to create a rainbow doodle shoe


  • Begin by opening and remixing the starter project click remix to start making changes, next click ‘See Inside’.
  • Review the sprites in the starter project.
Thumb screen shot 2017 04 01 at 30135 pm
  • Click on the ‘splot’ and add the events block when green flag is clicked. Events blocks are some of the most important blocks in Scratch because they get the program started, more specifically they make Scratch do something only when input is received. 
  • Next, we’ll add two pen blocks a set pen color to set the colour and a set pen size to set the size. Both the pen size and the pen colour are variables that students can change. 
  • Next, add a control block forever loop. Inside the forever block we will add a looks block set size to this makes the spot a bit smaller. 
  • Next, add a motion block go to x: y: and two sensing blocks (mouse x, and mouse y) that fit inside. Here we are saying go to 0 - wherever the mouse is horizontally and wherever the mouse is vertically on the stage. 
  • To change the pen colour we have a pen block change pen colour by
  • Finally, we have a control if/then/else with a sensing block checking mouse down? Inside this if/then/else we either have the pen pen down or pen pen up.  
Screen Shot 2017-03-31 at 121537 PMpng
  • Break!
  • This might be a good point to stop and answer any questions students may have about the set of block so far.
  • Time to test! Give your program a go by clicking the Green Flag. You should see the pen appear on the screen, change colours to every shade of the rainbow, and the line should be opposite to where your mouse is. But wait! Why is the pen appearing opposite the mouse?! Try switching the x and y of your go to block to find out. This might be a good time to play around with some of the variables mentioned earlier.
  • Ok! Now that the pen is appearing on the screen you may notice that you want to clear out the drawing so you can try again. To do this click on the Stage and add events when green flag clicked and a pen clear block.
Screen Shot 2017-03-31 at 121925 PMpng
  • The last code sequence is very similar to the splot code but is added to the pen-canvas Sprite.
Screen Shot 2017-03-31 at 122031 PMpng
  • There is one important block that differs between the two code sequences. What is it? Why is it different. Try running the program by clicking on the green flag to test out what it could be.
  • The motion block go to mouse-pointer is the key difference between the two sequences.
  • Now that students have built out one drawing tool using Scratch it’s time for them to CUSTOMIZE their show to make it uniquely their own. Have students play around with different drawing techniques, styles, and colours to make their shoe unique.


Have students use a design journals, the attached sheet, or a shared Google Doc to express what aspect of Terry’s story they relate to how they see opportunities for them to make a difference in their own communities using their unique skills, and finally how their thoughts are translating into code as they progress through the project.

Make a plan for how to access students work in Scratch. You could create class studios to collect projects, have students email you class links,  gather project links in a shared Google doc or blog.


  • Have students draw their own shoes instead of using the initial Sprites provided.
  • Have students write a story about a day in the lives of their shoes.

Suggested Lessons

Intended Province:


  • Subjects:
  • The Arts

Key Curriculum Concepts

Students use elements of design in artworks to communicate ideas, messages, and understandings for specific audience and purpose. Students can reflect on how they can leverage their talents to create change whether that be athletic, artistic, social, etc.


ink blot by James Cottell from the Noun Project

Lesson modified from Terry Fox Foundation

Terry Fox - Canadian Encyclopedia