Introduction: Makey Makey & Scratch Code/Art Storytelling

About: STEM and Library Science teacher in Eminence Kentucky at a K-12 School.

In this project, we are taking inspiration from literature to draw scenes or characters from a book and bring them to life through code. Hand-drawn art is connected to a Makey-Makey through conductive copper tape. Then, we use the Makey-Makey Scratch Extension to integrate our real world creation with the digital world of code. In this example, we will bring themes and characters from Dragons Love Tacos to life.


  • A book for inspiration, or a creative idea! I choose by Adam Rubin for this example.
  • Access to - creating an account is preferable so that work can be saved.
  • & USB Cord
  • Computer
  • 4-7 (these are usually included in a Makey-Makey purchase
  • Scissors
  • Paper - I prefer card stock
  • Art supplies such as markers, crayons, or colored pencils

Step 1: Pick a Muse

  • First, come up with the idea behind your creation.
  • A book can be a great central idea, but students are often inspired to make maps, characters, or creative scenes for this project. Either way, choose an idea.
  • Draw and color the scene you plan to code.
  • Sometimes, looking at the sprites and backgrounds available in Scratch before committing is helpful.
  • Sometimes it is fun to replicating your own art digitally in Scratch.

Step 2: Make That Canvas Conductive

  • Cut short strips of copper tape. This will act as a conductor for the alligator clips.
  • Tape them intentionally to the art elements you want to be interactive within your code.
  • If doing this with students, this is a great opportunity for a mini lesson on conductive materials. Let them test if the paper alone is conductive. Why is the copper tape needed? How does it help the current flow?

Step 3: Wire the Makey Makey

  • First, connect the Makey Makey to your computer.
  • Then, wire alligator clips to each strip of copper tape on your canvas.
  • Remember to leave one alligator clip connected to Earth (ground). You will hold this one in your hand as you use the Makey Makey to close the circuits.

Step 4: Open Scratch

  • Open
  • Log in or create an account so that your work can be saved
  • Click Create to get to the Scratch Sandbox

Step 5: Enable the Makey Makey Extensions

In the bottom left hand corner of the Scratch sandbox is a + box that allows users to add extensions.

Click it and add the Makey Makey Extension.

Step 6: Code Your Scene

  • Use the Makey Makey Extension to code your scene.
  • This isn't a tutorial on using Scratch; there are lots of great tutorials embedded in Scratch to learn how to code within in it. So, here I've just shown you a simple code for a general idea about how a drawing, an electrical interface, and coding software can be incorporated to make something new.

Step 7: Enjoy Your Creation

Show off and share your magic!

Anything Goes Contest 2021

Participated in the
Anything Goes Contest 2021