Creative Coding 1

40 hours • ONLINE OR BLENDED CLASS • JavaScript

The Vidcode Creative Coding 1 course introduces students learn the essential foundations of computer science and basic programming with a focus on identifying how code connects to and can enhance their existing interests. 

The course introduces JavaScript gently with drag-and-drop blocks, slowly moving towards text-based programming. This course is aligned to the 2017 CSTA level 1B standards, ranging from simple sequencing of commands, through variables and arrays, and all the way to nested loops and conditionals. The activities in each unit allow students to practice using these programming concepts in creative projects that emphasize self expression, positive identity and helping others.



Vidcode is a project-based web curriculum with year long courses that are delivered in units. Each unit consists of student-led tutorials, practice activities, discussions, assessment and lesson plans.

Our courses are developed in cohesion with one another, and as stand-alone environments.  Each project is open ended and allows for continual experiment and interaction.  

We use NO video tutorials and provide skill building quizzes, assessment, challenge problems and unit tests.


Who is this for?

The Vidcode Creative Coding 1 course is built for complete beginners in middle or high school.  We provide extended learning modules for more advanced students who may move through the material more quickly.


Learning Objectives

Students learn the fundamentals of computer programming with an emphasis on concept building, creative arts and confidence!


Unit Theme Code Focus Time
CC1.1 Intro to Vidcode What does it mean to be a programmer? Sequence, functions & arguments, objects & properties 10 hours
CC1.2 The Creation Zone Programmers work together! Variables, arrays, objects, properties 10 hours
CC1.3 A Tale of Special Effects What kind of programmer are you? Loops, randomness 10 hours
CC1.4 Conditional Magic Programmer culture: sharing, commenting, iteration Conditionals, operators, function scope 10 hours


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Unit 1: Intro to Vidcode

In this unit, students will begin learning to program in JavaScript with a focus on creativity and confidence! Students will be creating custom filters (as popularized by apps such as Instagram) and their own “meme.” Through these activities, students will learn about the core programming concepts of sequence, functions, variables and objects. These concepts will be introduced in the tutorial sections and reinforced with practice activities.

Time: 10 hours

Unit theme: What does it mean to be a programmer?

Code focus: sequence, functions & arguments, objects & properties

Essential Question: What does it mean to be a programmer?

Enduring Understandings: 

  • Programming means giving instructions to a computer in a language it can understand.

  • JavaScript is one programming language.

  • The syntax of a programming language matters.

  • The order of my code matters.

  • Learning to code can influence my future.

Common Preconceptions: 

  • Only certain types of people can be programmers.

  • I am not a programmer.

  • Programming is hard.

  • Programming is something you do alone, in the dark.

  • It takes a long time to make anything with code.


What students are making

Activity 1: Create a filter

Activity 5: Doge Meme

Activity 6: Doodle AR


Unit 2: The Creation Zone

Students will learn how to organize different kinds of data content (audio, video, image, text, shapes, etc)  into arrays and become versed in using variables to turn their media content into coding masterpieces. Arrays are ordered lists of data that can hold words, numbers, objects and more. Students will create a stop-motion animated movie, putting frames in an array in the order they want them to appear in the video. With arrays, students will be able to take complete control with code! 

Time: 10 hours

Unit theme: Programmers work together!

Code focus: variables, arrays, objects, properties

Essential Question: How do computers keep track of information?

Enduring Understandings:

  • Arrays are one way to store data

  • Programmers have more control over projects with ordered lists

  • Programmers can share data with arrays


What students are making

Activity 1: Stop Motion

Activity 3: Famous Filters

Activity 7: Surprise Emoji


Unit 3: A Tale of Special Effects

Students’ programs will come alive in this course! This unit introduces loops for repeating code and going over arrays, as well as the use of operators to perform comparisons and mathematical operations. Students will learn how to index arrays to create whole stories, using emojis and code! They will use these skills to create more projects, including video messages about issues that are important to them. 

Time: 10 hours

Unit theme: What kind of programmer are you?

Code focus: loops, randomness

Essential Question: How does code repeat? 

Enduring Understandings:

  • Loops make actions repeat.

  • There are more operators in coding than I know from math.

  • Computers can generate random numbers.

  • Animation is achieved through looping actions.

Common Preconceptions:

  • Loops can only go a certain number of times.

  • Randomness means never seeing the same thing twice, or twice in a row.

What students are making

Activity 3: Sad Song

Activity 6: Animoji

Activity 7: Animate a Rainbow


Unit 4: Conditional Magic

This unit focuses on “if statements,” or conditionals, code that will run only if certain conditions are met. Using conditionals and comparison operators, students will be able to add complexity to their programs and continue learning how to think like a programmer. This unit also includes further discussion of loops and of creating and calling functions. Upon completion, students will have all the necessary tools to continue creating their own projects using JavaScript. This unit continues the discussion of how programming empowers you to create your own content and make your voice heard, rather than just experiencing content as a consumer.

Time: 10 hours

Unit theme: Programmer culture: sharing, commenting, iteration

Code focus: Conditionals, operators

Essential Question: How do computers make decisions? 

Enduring Understandings: 

  • A conditional is if...then...else.

  • Conditionals make different things happen depending on what's going on.

  • Debugging is the process of finding mistakes in code.

Common Preconceptions:

  • Computers are smart.

  • Computers will figure out what I mean even if I don't say it exactly right.

What students are making

Activity 3: Doodle SFX: Lasers

Activity 5: Heartbeat

Activity 6: Galactic Message


Interested in Vidcode courses - or still have questions about Creative Coding 1? Schedule a consultation with the Vidcode team.