You’re welcome, @slangford! I totally understand what you’re saying as I had similar concerns even with my middle school kids when I first started teaching the unit. I wondered if they’d be less interested or frustrated that they weren’t creating more complex drawings/games (especially the kids who regularly play video games), but I was totally proven wrong.
Being the first time they are creating something artistic using code, the simplicity of where they are starting never has seemed to matter- if anything, sometimes I think my students really have enjoyed that aspect of the unit. Maybe it’s because it’s taken them back a bit to their childhood and a more basic way of creating something from scratch?
Related, @melynn showed some great examples of just how ‘into it’ kids get and how they are totally motivated to create more complex drawings. The same has held true for my kids who are really into video games- they are so excited to learn HOW to create fundamentals of games that they’ve been using since they started playing, even if the sprites and graphics are simplistic. It’s fun to watch how excited they get when they learn how to do something new- and it motivates them to want to learn more in order to make more advanced creations.
I’d say give it a few lessons a go and see what happens! Also, here’s a resource that might help you compare other programs should you decide to go a different path. Keep us posted on how it goes!
P.S. That resource came right from Code.org’s Third Party PD page linked here.