Activity: Creating a Simple Digital Movie: Getting Started with Alice Storytelling (now Alice 3)

Contributed by: Kansas State University, Computing and Information Systems Department, National Science Foundation GK12 INSIGHT Program

Prepared for

*Subject Area(s)

Computer Science

Science and Technology

Problem Solving

*Associated Unit

Lights, Camera, Action! Digital Storytelling with Alice

*Associated Lessons

Creative Writing with Characters

Designing a Custom Nerdbot

*Grade: 6 (5-7)

Time Required

45 minutes

Group Size

As a class

Cost Per Group Free (if each group has a computer and can install free software)


Students learn the basics of programming while practicing communication and language arts.  This unit integrates logical processing and technical communication with an introduction to computer programming concepts while students have fun planning, writing, and bringing own characters to digital "life" in a multi-disciplinary unit that encourages teamwork and creativity while building important technical foundations.

*Engineering Connection

Logical processing and computer programming are common skillsets in all types of engineering, from civil, industrial, and mechanical, to chemical, petroleum, nuclear, and environmental.  Engineers excel in process design and analysis and use computers to enhance their ability to calculate, evaluate, analyze, and simulate complex systems.  However, engineers must not only demonstrate analytical competence, they must be excellent communicators, able to work well in teams, and practice creative thinking to develop innovative solutions.  This unit gets students excited about not only using the tools that engineers develop, but creating, modifying, and extending those tools as well.

*Engineering Category

1.      Relating science and/or math concepts to engineering

*Keywords: Alice, programming, logic, language, problem solving, computers, storytelling, creative thinking.

*Educational Standards

Shawnee School District Grade 6 (2010) Science Objectives:

Literacy Common Core - College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Writing (6-12) Text Types and Purposes

Prerequisite Knowledge 

*Learning Objectives

After this activity, students should be able to:

*Materials List

Each group needs:

To share with the entire group:

*Introduction / Motivation

A fun and visual way to introduce core programming concepts while encouraging creative thinking.

Vocabulary / Definitions




An innovative educational software program that allows students to create digital 3D movies with characters, dialogue, movements, and camera action.


Also called "coding".  The process of communicating instructions to a machine so that it can perform the actions you describe.

starter project

A program set up before the class begins so the students have a partially-working program already and all they have to do is modify it.



Before the Activity

With the Students

Safety Issues


Troubleshooting Tips

For additional information about the Alice programming environment, go to

Investigating Questions

How can I create a lasting set of instructions so that a computer will perform a series of actions whenever I ask?


To evaluate the effectiveness of this unit, a pre-activity assessment is available that can be administered prior to beginning the activity and a post-test is available that can be administered after students have completed the activity.  


Additional Multi-Media Support



Redirect URL


Denise Case, Kansas State University, Lucas Shivers and Lindsey Burch, Bluejacket Flint Elementary.


© 2012 by Kansas State University.

Permission granted for free use and distribution, conditioned upon inclusion of the above attribution and copyright notice.  This digital library content was developed by the Insight Program under National Science Foundation GK-12 grant no. 0948019. However, these contents do not necessarily represent the policies of the National Science Foundation, and you should not assume endorsement by the federal government.

*Supporting Program

Kansas State University, Department of Computing and Information Sciences, National Science Foundation GK-12 INSIGHT Program

Image from the Alice website: