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Lesson Review

Author:Blanca Herrera
ETP Title:Alice: Computer Programming in a 3D Environment
Organization:Lockheed Martin
ETP Type:
Grade Level(s):4,5,6,7,8
Subject Area(s):Science,Mathematics,Language Arts,Foreign Language,Social Science,Technology,Career Education

Lesson Abstract:

Students will be able to use Alice, a 3D object oriented programming language, to create projects that will integrate technology into the curriculum of any subject.  Students will create storyboards where they will outline actions and dialogue that will be included in their project.  They will also learn to create audio files so they can add sound to their projects.  They will use GarageBand (Audacity can be used for PC) to record the dialogue and then convert the files to MP3 so it can be imported in their Alice projects. Students will also peer review their work and give each other feedback.  They will present their final product to their class and share it with students from other classrooms.  This project can be tailored to any subject.  Students can write a narrative story, they can do a book report for reading, they can discuss a historical event, they can explain a scientific concept or math concept, even teach another language.

California Standards

1. Writing:
Production and Distribution of Writing
With guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach.

2. Speaking and Listening:
Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas
Include multimedia components (e.g., graphics, sound) and visual displays in presentations when appropriate to enhance the development of main ideas or themes.

National Education Technology Standards

2. Communication and Collaboration
Students use digital media and environments to communicate and work collaboratively, including at a distance, to support individual learning and contribute to the learning of others.

Measurable Objectives:

  1. Students will diagram a storyboard that includes dialogue and actions.
  2. Students will construct a scene using Alice.
  3. Students will construct audio files of the dialogue using Garageband and import them to the Alice scene.
  4. Students will peer review each other’s work to give feedback to improve their project, and will also do a self-assessment using a rubric.
  5. Students will revise and edit their project to finalize it.


  1. There will be a Peer Editor Checklist used by students to verify that all the requirements were included in their project.

  2. A rubric will be used by students and the teacher to assess the projects.

  3. Alice and GarageBand Commands Quiz

The connection between the ETP and Fellowship. :

During my fellowship at Lockheed Martin, I participated in the testing of software that simulates satellites that orbit around the Earth.  This process is necessary so that the software that controls the satellites can be tested.  I was able to test the simulation software to make sure it worked correctly.  I was given the commands that needed to be done following the documentation created by the computer programmer.  At other times, I worked on my own and followed the steps on the documentation.  If there were any errors, I reported them back to the engineers.  It is crucial that this software is done correctly and that all details are reviewed to make sure that the software does what is intended.  There is a process of peer review that all critical production in a project go through to make sure the projects are executed correctly. These skills are very important because they enable engineers to develop, integrate, and test equipment that supports the national security infrastructure. 

For my ETP, I will teach students Alice 3D Programming.  This is an introductory course that will expose students to computer programming.  During the project students will be able to design, develop and peer review other students' work to make sure they include all the required elements of the project.  They will be going through a similar process engineers go through at Lockheed Martin.  Two students will review the work and give feedback to the creator of the project so that modifications can be made.

Working at Lockheed Martin has shown me the importance of team work and peer reviews.  My students will be able to experience this same process and be ready to be part of a team when they enter the workforce.

Instructional Plan:

Each class period is 45 minutes.

Day 1

  1. The teacher will show the students a sample of a project in Alice (See link to video of sample project in attachments).
  2. The teacher will discuss the requirements, checklists, and rubrics used to assess their project.
  3. The teacher will model how to create a storyboard by including actions and dialogue.  (See Storyboard Worksheet in attachments).
  4. Discuss whole class possible topics that can be used to create a project. Students can pick a concept in any subject area including science, math, reading, social studies, and foreign language.
  5. Students discuss in groups what topics they are considering and make a list of 5 topics.
  6. Students share with the class 2 topics from their list.
  7. Students begin their individual storyboard. (See Storyboard worksheet attachment)

Day 2

  1. The teacher models how to set-up the scene and acquire objects.  (See Step-by-Step instructions for Alice in attachments)
  2. Students continue with their storyboards.
  3. If they finish, they have a conference with the teacher for final approval before beginning their project.
  4. Students will watch the video tutorials on their own to review. (See Video Tutorial links in resources). Students will have to answer the Alice Quiz as they watch the video.  (See Alice Commands Quiz attachment)

Day 3

  1. The teacher models how to drag and drop commands for each object.
  2. Students will get started on their project after final approval of their storyboard.
  3. Students will watch the video tutorials on their own to review. (See Video Tutorial links in resources).

 Day 4

  1. The teacher models how to select different methods to run commands.
  2. Students continue working on their Alice project.

Day 5

  1. The teacher models how to record dialogue in GarageBand and export it as an MP3 file to Alice. (See Step-by-Step instructions for GarageBand attachment)
  2. Students continue working on their Alice project.
  3. Students take turns recording their dialogue using Garageband.
  4. Students will watch the video tutorials on their own to review. (See Video Tutorial links in resources). Students will have to answer the GarageBand Quiz as they watch the video.  (See GarageBand Commands Quiz attachment)

 Day 6-8

  1. Students continue working on their Alice project.
  2. Students take turns recording their dialogue using GarageBand.
  3. Students will watch the video tutorials on their own to review. (See Video Tutorial links in resources).

Day 9

  1. Students will have two classmates peer review their project using the checklist and give them feedback. (See Peer Editor Checklist attachment)
  2. Students edit and revise their projects.

Day 10-12

  1. Students continue to edit and revise their projects to finalize their product.
  2. Students use the rubric to self-assess their project.

Day 13-14

  1. Students take turns sharing their projects with the class. The teacher will assess their projects using the assessment rubric.


1. Copy of Alice program found at alice.org
2. Computer Lab or mobile computer cart with projector
3. GarageBand, Audacity, or other audio creating software
4. Copies of Storyboard
5. Copies of Alice and GarageBand Quiz
6. Copies of Step-by-Step Instructions for Alice and Garageband
7. Copies of Rubric
8. Copies of Checklist
9. Sample Project Movie

Bibliographic or other resources you used in creating this curriculum:

Web sites:

http://alice.org/, Carnegie Mellon University, 2011, Web. Accessed 6/22/11

http://www.aliceprogramming.net/, Carnegie Mellon University, 2011, Web. Accessed 6/22/11

https://lists.andrew.cmu.edu/mailman/listinfo/alice-teachers  Carnegie Mellon University, 2011, Web. Accessed 6/22/11

http://audacity.sourceforge.net/download/, Carnegie Mellon University, Dominic Mazzoni and Roger Dannenberg, 2011, Web. Accessed 6/22/11

Video Links:

http://www.screencast-o-matic.com/watch/cXjj1nrk3, Alice Commands Tutorial, Blanca Herrera, August 2011

http://www.screencast-o-matic.com/watch/cXjQhPr54, GarageBand:  Creating MP3, Importing to Alice, Blanca Herrera, August 2011

http://www.screencast-o-matic.com/watch/cXjQ1Cr5z, Sample Alice Movie, Blanca Herrera, August 2011

The needs this ETP will fulfill in the classroom, teaching or school:

I will be the Science and Technology Teacher at Ida Jew Academies Charter School in the Mt. Pleasant Elementary School District.  One of our academies is the STEM academy.  We will be assigned to teach an elective class to students in 5th-7th grade.  I will be teaching students the Alice programming language so students will have an opportunity to experience what computer programmers do.  There is a great need for students to be exposed and encouraged to consider careers in Computer Science.  This will be a great opportunity for students, especially girls, to see how fun computer programming can be.



Alice, computer programming, 3D, animation, technology integration