Lesson 22: Alien Dance Party


This lesson features Sprite Lab, a platform where students can create their own alien dance party with interactions between characters and user input. Students will work with events to create game controls.


Students will use events to make characters move around the screen, make noises, and change backgrounds based on user input. This lesson offers a great introduction to events in programming and even gives a chance to show creativity! At the end of the puzzle sequence, students will be presented with the opportunity to share their projects.


Warm Up (15 min)

Main Activity (30 min)

Wrap Up (15 min)

View on Code Studio


Students will be able to:

  • Identify actions that correlate to input events.
  • Create an animated, interactive game using sequence and events.



Heads Up! Please make a copy of any documents you plan to share with students.

For the Teachers

For the Students


  • Event - An action that causes something to happen.


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Teaching Guide

Warm Up (15 min)


Today students will visit events in programming.

Demo: Ask the students to raise their hands in the air.

What you did was declare an event. When you say "raise your hands in the air" the students responded by raising their hands. In coding, you would declare this by saying something like "when I say 'raise your hands,' you raise your hands".

You can also think of cities as declaring events. There are laws that say "when there is a green light, cars move through the intersection".

Discuss: Ask the students why they think this is an event.

Today, students will play in Play Lab, but the events they will be working on will be more like the video games they are used to playing. Events will take the form of actions, such as clicking the screen or two characters running into each other.

Display: Begin by showing Puzzle 1 to your students.

Think/Pair: Ask them to predict what will happen when the code is run, and to discuss with their neighbors. Run the code, and discuss the outcome.

Review of "Personal and Private Information"

Remind students of information that is safe to share online and information that is strictly private.

SAFE - Personal Information UNSAFE - Private Information
Your favorite food
Your opinion
(though it shoud be done respectfully)
First name
(with permission)
Mother's maiden name
Social Security number
Your date of birth
Parents' credit card information
Phone number

Discuss other examples of the two categories above.

Main Activity (30 min)

Goal: Today, students will be creating their own alien dance party! They’ll begin by reviewing how to put sprites on the screen, then they will assign them behaviors and learn to change those behaviors when an event is initiated.

Teaching Tip

Encourage students with questions/challenges to start by asking their partner. Unanswered questions can be escalated to a nearby group, who might already know the solution. Have students describe the problem that they’re seeing:

  • What is it supposed to do?
  • What does it do?
  • What does that tell you?

Course F Online Puzzles - 2018 - Website

Transition: Move students to their machines. Encourage students to follow the instructions for each puzzle. Help them realize that this is a creative activity, intended to help them learn Sprite Lab. It is not an assessment activity of any sort.

Reminder: If puzzles are sharable, remind the students to only share their work with their close friends or family. For more information watch or show the class Pause and Think Online - Video.

Wrap Up (15 min)


Having students write about what they learned, why it’s useful, and how they feel about it can help solidify any knowledge they obtained today and build a review sheet for them to look to in the future.

Journal Prompts:

  • What was today's lesson about?
  • How do you feel about today's lesson?
  • How did it feel to have control over what your characters were able to do?
  • Did you change the program in any way to make it feel more like your own?

Standards Alignment

View full course alignment

CSTA K-12 Computer Science Standards (2017)

AP - Algorithms & Programming
  • 1B-AP-12 - Modify, remix or incorporate portions of an existing program into one's own work, to develop something new or add more advanced features.

Cross-curricular Opportunities

This list represents opportunities in this lesson to support standards in other content areas.

Common Core English Language Arts Standards

L - Language
  • 4.L.6 - Acquire and use accurately grade-appropriate general academic and domain-specific words and phrases, including those that signal precise actions, emotions, or states of being (e.g., quizzed, whined, stammered) and that are basic to a particular topic (e.g
SL - Speaking & Listening
  • 4.SL.1 - Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 4 topics and texts, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.
  • 4.SL.1.a - Come to discussions prepared, having read or studied required material; explicitly draw on that preparation and other information known about the topic to explore ideas under discussion.
  • 4.SL.4 - Report on a topic or text, tell a story, or recount an experience in an organized manner, using appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details to support main ideas or themes; speak clearly at an understandable pace.
  • 4.SL.6 - Differentiate between contexts that call for formal English (e.g., presenting ideas) and situations where informal discourse is appropriate (e.g., small-group discussion); use formal English when appropriate to task and situation.
W - Writing
  • 4.W.6 - With some guidance and support from adults, use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing as well as to interact and collaborate with others; demonstrate sufficient command of keyboarding skills to type a minimum of one page in a

Common Core Math Standards

MP - Math Practices
  • MP.1 - Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them
  • MP.2 - Reason abstractly and quantitatively
  • MP.4 - Model with mathematics
  • MP.5 - Use appropriate tools strategically
  • MP.6 - Attend to precision
  • MP.7 - Look for and make use of structure
  • MP.8 - Look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning
NBT - Number And Operations In Base Ten
  • 4.NBT.4 - Fluently add and subtract multi-digit whole numbers using the standard algorithm.
  • 4.NBT.5 - Multiply a whole number of up to four digits by a one-digit whole number, and multiply two two-digit numbers, using strategies based on place value and the properties of operations. Illustrate and explain the calculation by using equations, rectangular ar

Next Generation Science Standards

ETS - Engineering in the Sciences
ETS1 - Engineering Design
  • 3-5-ETS1-1 - Define a simple design problem reflecting a need or a want that includes specified criteria for success and constraints on materials, time, or cost.
  • 3-5-ETS1-2 - Generate and compare multiple possible solutions to a problem based on how well each is likely to meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.